14th Oct 2011
Okla. Stat. tit. 58 § 21 states that anyone who possesses the Will of another must bring that Will forward within thirty days of learning of the other person’s death. If not, the person failing to bring the Will forward can be liable for damages.
The statute gives two delivery options: a) first, to the District Court with jurisdiction in the probate matter; and b) second, to the Executor or Personal Representative named in the Will. It seems the simplest and best course of action would usually be to deliver the Will to the Personal Representative named in the Will (or their counsel) so they can gather all the details and determine how to best proceed. However in certain circumstances, filing the Will with the appropriate District Court could perhaps be better, such as if there were concerns about the Will becoming lost or the named Personal Representative not handling the decedent’s affairs properly.
Related, Okla. Stat. tit. 58 § 24 enables a Court, upon a petition from an interested party, to order the person possessing the Will of another to bring it forward. If the person does not comply with the order, the Court can place them in the county jail.
Jail would certainly be an extreme remedy, but it highlights the main point of this blog entry: if you need to obtain the Will of a loved one for a matter you are involved in and the holder of the Will is not cooperative, you can obtain relief through the proper Court. Likewise, if you hold someone else’s Will, you need to make sure it gets delivered to the proper place promptly after their death.
If our office may be of assistance to you in these areas, do not hesitate to contact us at (580) 338-6503 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or using any of our contact information in the profile. You can also visit www.fieldandhicks.com for more information.
This blog contains general information and the opinions of the author – not legal advice; you should seek the advice of competent counsel (attorney/lawyer) when considering any legal issues.