Q: My sister refuses to sign for either of us to apply to become Administrator of our deceased brother’s estate.
To avoid probate, my sister has a friend in the real estate business that wants to do a quick sale on brother’s house. I’m leery. She told me to call “her” lawyer to get the details as to why I should go quick sale rather than probate. Her lawyer just happens to be the lawyer that represents her friend’s real estate business. Would this Be considered a conflict of interest? I feel that it is in his best interest to sway me towards his client, the real estate agent.
A: It could perhaps be considered a conflict, however, there isn't a quick run around a probate. I've assumed this house is in Oklahoma. Assuming the house was titled solely in your brother's name, then there is no way to legally transfer title without an administration of your brother's estate. A title company would not pass title on the house without this administration and therefore no sale would be concluded. You have a right equal to your sister to apply to be administrator of the estate. In Oklahoma, priority of appointment goes first to the surviving spouse, then children, then parents and then to siblings. Assuming none of these other parties exist or assuming they would decline to serve you can apply to be appointed administrator of the estate. Depending on what other real and personal property exists and the value of the estate there may be abbreviated probate procedures of which you could take advantage. You should contact a probate attorney.
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