How to File a Will Contest in Oklahoma

By Beverly Bird

In Oklahoma, when the executor of a will files the will with the court and a petition for probate, the court immediately sends notice to all the deceased’s heirs and beneficiaries. It may also publish a notice in the newspaper. The notices give a date for a court hearing to admit the last will and testament into probate. If you intend to contest a will, this hearing is the best place to start.

In Oklahoma, when the executor of a will files the will with the court and a petition for probate, the court immediately sends notice to all the deceased’s heirs and beneficiaries. It may also publish a notice in the newspaper. The notices give a date for a court hearing to admit the last will and testament into probate. If you intend to contest a will, this hearing is the best place to start.

Step 1

Appear in court on the day of the hearing. You will not have to argue your case at this point. You only have to show up to advise the court that you are objecting to the will.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Step 2

File a written objection with the court after you have attended the hearing, explaining why you think the judge should invalidate the will and refuse to enter it into probate. You must also send a copy of your objection to the executor of the will, or the person who submitted the will for probate, as well as the deceased’s heirs and the will’s beneficiaries.

Step 3

Respond to any heir, beneficiary or executor who “demurs” to your written objection, or asks the court to dismiss it. You have 10 days to do this after you receive notice that someone has demurred. Your response should be to revise your original objection so that it meets legal standards. Generally, a beneficiary, the executor, or his attorney will demur because of some procedural error, such as invalid grounds to contest the will. If this occurs, you should immediately seek the help of your own attorney because you have limited time to resubmit a corrected objection. If you don’t do it right, the court might dismiss your case.

Step 4

Review the executor’s or beneficiaries’ arguments to your grounds if the judge overrules the demurral. The demurral simply objected to the court allowing you to challenge the will in the first place. If you win that hurdle, the executor and beneficiaries are allowed to respond again, this time specifically to your allegations regarding why the will isn’t valid. Their arguments will usually be the same ones they use at trial and will give you some idea of what to expect. The court will assign a trial date after it receives these responding arguments.

Step 5

Present your case on the day of the trial. You should enlist the services of an attorney because most courts require the same level of legal expertise from "pro se litigants," or people who represent themselves, as they do from lawyers. When the judge has heard all the evidence, he will not issue a decision right away. He will write an opinion and issue a judgment, usually within a few weeks’ time.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How Long Do You Have to File an Appeal for Divorce in Arizona?

References

Related articles

What Happens in Divorce Court?

If you're headed for divorce court, you might be a bundle of nerves about facing the unknown. While worrying about the outcome might be warranted, the actual legal process is structured and orderly, and it doesn't have to be intimidating. Different proceedings have varying protocols.

What to Expect in Your Final Divorce Hearing on Your Trial Day in South Carolina

South Carolina encourages spouses to reach an agreement on the terms of their divorce, such as property division and child custody, but you and your spouse may not be able to mutually agree on all terms. If your settlement negotiations fail, it will be up to the court to make these decisions for you based on evidence it receives from your filed paperwork and during the divorce trial. The court cannot consider evidence unless it’s properly presented, so it is important to understand the trial process.

How to Contest a Will Provision

You don't need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. While many will contests challenge the validity of an entire will, others focus on one term. Some common legal grounds for challenging a will necessarily negate the entire document, but others — e.g., undue influence, forgery or fraud — may be limited to one late-added codicil. Like most contested litigation, will contests proceed in court following strict statutory procedures, and parties often choose to be represented by attorneys.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

How to Have Someone Removed as the Executor of a Will

One of the benefits of writing a will is choosing your own executor. An executor steers the will through the probate ...

How to Appeal a Divorce Judgment in Oregon

The greatest downside to a hard-fought divorce battle is that you end up trusting the most precious aspects of your ...

Statute of Limitations on Contesting a Will in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has a very short statute of limitations for contesting a will. If you do not act immediately after the ...

How to Remove an Executor of a Will

Chosen by the testator -- the person who writes the will -- and nominated in the will itself, an executor administers ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED