10th Jul 2012

The last post in this series looked at the question: what if several persons have equal priority to be appointed Administrator under Okla. Stat. tit. 58 § 122 and are not disqualified under Okla. Stat.tit. 58 § 126.  The short answer: the Court has discretion in its appointment. 

This post and the next post look at a couple of specific issues addressed in the statutes under this general rule: creditors competing for appointment and those of different blood relation competing for appointment.

Regarding creditors, Okla. Stat. tit. 58 § 124 reads in full: “[w]hen there are several persons equally entitled to the administration, the court may grant letters to one or more of them; and when a creditor is claiming letters, the court may, in its discretion, at the request of another creditor, grant letters to any other person legally competent.”  The last post dealt with the first part of this statue; this post deals with the second part. 

As set forth in an earlier post, creditors come seventh on the list of priority of persons entitled to be appointed Administrator in estates of persons dying intestate (without a Will).  A creditor would generally only apply to be an Administrator: a) if no one else with greater priority applied; and b) there were assets in the estate from which the creditor could satisfy its debts later in the process.  

Under Okla. Stat.tit. 58 § 124, if one creditor petitioned the Court to be appointed Administrator, another creditor could “request” that the Court appoint any other person legally competent.  “Any person legally competent” is the eight place on the priority list for appointment, just behind creditors. 

The point of the statute seems to be that if there are two (or more) creditors who want to be Administrator, or a least one who does not want the other to be Administrator, the Court will generally appoint a third party and not: a) choose between the creditors; or b) appoint the creditors to serve together.  However, this statute says the second creditor may “request” and the Court “may, in its discretion” act.  This statue, for whatever reason, is not a “must” requirement for Courts in this scenario, but more a point of general guidance, within overall Court discretion. 

This information is particularly helpful to creditors in estates, specifically in a scenario where there are multiple creditors competing for appointment and satisfaction of their claims.

If our office may be of assistance to you in these areas, do not hesitate to contact us at (580) 338-6503 or at coryhicks@fieldandhicks.comor 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.

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