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Probate administration appoints executor to make tough decisions

In Oklahoma, those who prepare their estates do so because they have particular wishes for themselves, their heirs and their property after they die. Their wills express those wishes, and probate administration is the first step to ensuring those wishes are fulfilled. When the will is proved to be valid and an executor is appointed, the process of dividing the estate begins. One question that may bring some debate and disagreement is what to do with the house.

Whatever decisions the executor makes must be within the limitations of the will and approved by the court. The first obligation of the executor is to make an accounting of the debts and assets of the estate. Debts must be met with any available cash, but if the cash is insufficient, some property must be sold. The house is usually the last item to be sold to pay off debts.

If debts are all met and the house remains, the executor must consider the wishes and any limitations the decedent expressed in the will. The next consideration would be the decisions the beneficiaries have made. For example, if the children have inherited the house but do not want it, and the decedent has made no express prohibition, the house may be sold or auctioned as long as the court approves.

During probate administration in Oklahoma, the person who is appointed executor may be faced with an enormous task. He or she may have beneficiaries questioning and disputing decisions and the court expecting deadlines to be met. Having an attorney to assist and advise may be an invaluable resource. An estate planning attorney will ensure that the will is executed smoothly and that the decedents wishes are respected.

Source:, "Can an Executor Sell a House in Probate?", Accessed on Dec. 16, 2016

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