Who is responsible for the probate of an estate?

Usually this is an easy question if a person dies with a will because most wills specifically nominate a person or persons that the willmaker prefers to administer their property.

But it starts to get complicated if these people are not available. For example, when one spouse dies before the other, the person is legally incompetent, or they simply decline to serve.

It is also possible that someone’s nomination could be delayed or disallowed if other people interested in the will decide to challenge the nomination.

But when the list of nominees is exhausted, the State of Oklahoma provides its own list of possible people beginning with the spouse, the children, the parents of the deceased, then moving on to other family members, and finally working its way down to creditors or any able-bodied, legally competent stranger willing to complete the job.

So please be thoughtful about whom you nominate.

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