Will contest in Normam, OK
January 25, 2012 7:23 PM   Subscribe

My friend wants to contest his mother's will. Recommendations to a good estate/wills/probate lawyer in the Norman, OK area?

A friend of mine wants to contest his mother's will.

She had three typed, notarized versions of her will, changed over the years, filed with a lawyer. Then there is also a "holographic" portion that was supposedly done in her handwriting, four months before she died of cancer, and simply tacked on to the end of one of the written wills. Not notarized. Not filed with a lawyer but simply produced by her youngest son.

My friend believes that his brother, who was caring for their mother, influenced her to make this will and that she wasn't competent at the time. Frankly, after looking at it, I find it possible that the will is even forged, as it does not look like her handwriting (though I realize she was ill at the time). It contains mixed cursive and print, and misspells words (in one case twice) that she normally didn't misspell. Everyone who has seen it has spontaneously questioned its validity.

My friend got a lawyer via personal referral (apparently not by referral from someone who has used his professional services), but he doesn't seem to be doing much, and doesn't respond to my friend's queries in a timely manner. The probate hearing is coming up on the 6th of February. My friend lives on the west coast and doesn't plan to travel to Norman to be at the court date, and he needs someone good (and communicative!) to advise and represent him.

My friend wants the "holographic" portion of the will thrown out and to revert to the previous version of the will (the last typed, notarized one). This would mean the one son would no longer get *everything* but rather would share the estate with his siblings.

Advice? recommendations?
posted by parrot_person to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Title line should of course read "Norman". Bleargh.
posted by parrot_person at 7:47 PM on January 25, 2012

Your friend should make finding a better lawyer a full-time job until he finds one, starting tonight. I'm sure he can be set up with a much better one by this time tomorrow if he is prompt. Likely it is contestable but without knowing the size of the estate, more about the family and some other details it's difficult to assess the odds of success and the potential destruction of family assets and relationships.
posted by michaelh at 7:55 PM on January 25, 2012

Response by poster: Family relationships between the youngest son and his siblings are already destroyed. The other sibling, a sister, initially didn't want to involve herself in a contest but has changed her mind and will support my friend in his contest.

My friend is uncertain about the size of the estate. His mother inherited some money but it's uncertain how much of it she used up and the youngest son is cagey about the finances. Apparently some stocks were transferred into the name of the youngest son already before the mother died. My friend is not sure whether that happened by his mother directly transferring the stocks herself, or by the youngest son doing it himself under power of attorney. There is a middle class house (which the youngest son will inherit) and the contents thereof, which include nice furniture which my friend would like sold.

I'd be happy to fill in any other details, with input from my friend if need be.
posted by parrot_person at 8:07 PM on January 25, 2012

Take michaelh's advice to your friend right away. AskMe doesn't need any more details. Your friend needs a replacement Norman lawyer asap.
posted by JimN2TAW at 11:01 PM on January 25, 2012

Response by poster: Nobody has a single recommendation for a lawyer in the Norman, OK area?
posted by parrot_person at 12:18 PM on January 26, 2012

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