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.

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.

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.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

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 to Stop a Divorce From Happening


Related articles

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 will is filed for probate -- or if you do not act correctly and make procedural errors -- you may lose your opportunity to object. The will’s proponents, or the executor and beneficiaries who want the will to stand, can file a motion to “strike” your objection and have it thrown out of court if it is deficient in any way.

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 process -- gathering assets, paying bills and distributing remaining property -- usually charging the estate by the hour for the duration of the ride. A knowledgeable and trusted executor may be able to shorten probate and maximize bequests. Courts hesitate to remove an executor named in the will, and do so only upon a showing of incapacity or dishonesty.

How to Get an Emergency Court Order for Visitation Rights for a Father

In most cases, family court judges want you to have time with your children just as much as you do. Even if the court finds that for some reason you’re unfit for full custody, the judge will typically grant supervised visitation, allowing you to see your kids with a responsible, third party adult present. State courts are vested in maintaining the parent-child relationship, so if your soon-to-be ex is depriving you of visitation, all you really have to do is get into court to ask for an order.

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

Related articles

How to Contest a Will in the State of New Jersey

You may want to contest a will for many reasons. You might believe that the decedent left a more recent one and you ...

How to Fire the Executor of a Will

Although an executor owes a fiduciary duty to the heirs of the will she administers, the heirs do not hire her and ...

Ways to Respond to Divorce Summons in North Carolina

No matter where you live, when your spouse serves you with a divorce summons, it's possible to do nothing at all. ...

How to Contest a Will Due to Alzheimer's

An objection that a decedent was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and was mentally incompetent when she made her will ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED