Q: My mother passed away a year ago. How do i force my father to probate her will?
My mother passed away over a year ago. My father has refused to probate her will. I also have a half sister, from my moms first marriage. The estate is sizeable, and we assume that my father is trying to hide something or cut my sister out. We have confirmed the will has not been entered into the record in the county in which they lived. Can we force the will to be probated? Is it required we be notified if the will is probated (because we have been asking)?
A: Yes, you can force the will to be probated. According to Section 21 of Title 58 of the Oklahoma statutes, “Every custodian of a will, within thirty days after receipt of information that the maker thereof is dead, must deliver the same to the district court having jurisdiction of the estate, or to the executor named therein. A failure to comply with the provisions of this section makes the person failing responsible for all damages sustained by any one injured thereby.”
Furthermore, according to Section 24 of Title 58, "If it be alleged in the petition that the will is in the possession of a third person and the court is satisfied that the allegation is correct, an order must be issued and served upon the person having possession of the will, requiring him to produce it in the court at the time named in the order. If he has possession of the will and neglects or refuses to produce it in obedience to the order, he may by warrant of the court be committed to the jail of the county, and kept in close confinement until he produces it."
As an heir at law of your mother, you are entitled to notice if your father ever probates the will on his own volition. You also have a right to start the probate process and require your dad to produce the will. You should contact an Oklahoma probate attorney and get the probate process started.
Nina Whitehurst agrees with this answer
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