Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Oklahoma Supreme Court: Prioritized Order For Probate Venue Exists in Oklahoma

Estate planningThe Oklahoma Supreme Court "confirmed that the proper venue for the probate of an Oklahoman's estate is the county in which the decedent resided at death—not the most convenient venue for the party to file for probate or where letters might first have been issued." 

Charles Fulks died in February 2013. All of his real and personal property was alleged to be located in Osage County, Oklahoma. Dorothy, Charles' surviving spouse, filed a Petition for Letters of Administration in Nowata County, Oklahoma. Dorothy stated that Charles had died intestate and that there were three children. The three children were identified as Tobi, Kim, and Charles. 

Dorothy failed to disclose residency of Charles in the petition and also did not disclose or claim that Charles had ever lived in Nowata County, Oklahoma.

Before the hearing on the petition, Tammy McPherson filed a special appearance in Nowata County and asked for a continuance. McPherson claimed that she was also a child of the Fulks and asseated that she was an "heir at law." 

Tammy filed a motion to dismiss claiming, "1) decedent did not die intestate; 2) she is a named heir in decedent’s will; 3) all of decedent’s real and personal property was located in Osage County, Oklahoma, and 4) the proper venue for the probate lies in Osage County.  Tammy attached a copy of decedent’s September 26, 2011 will to her filings." 

The Oklahoma Supreme Court held that there is a priority of proper probate venue in Oklahoma and the County in which the decedent resides at death is the proper county for venue. 

See Oklahoma Supreme Court: Prioritized Order For Probate Venue Exists in Oklahoma, Probate Stars, December 15, 2020. 


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