I'm going to go above and beyond here and give you the exact information you need including phone numbers and names based on the information I have. All wills become public court records once they have been filed for probate. You will need to call, fax or send a letter to the appropriate probate court where the will has been filed will allow you to receive that court’s specific procedures for obtaining a copy of the will. The will is normally filed in the county in which the person has died. Aline, Oklahoma is located in Alfalfa county. Loren Angle is the associate Judge in the county and the phone number is(###) ###-#### You can call there and see if there has been a probate proceeding giving them your mother's name. The address is 300 S. Grand Cherokee, OK 73728 in case if you want to make requests by mail although you will have to call to see if the county accepts such requests. 58 O.S. 22 states "Any executor, devisee or legatee named in a will, or any other person interested in the estate, may at any time after the death of the testator, petition the court having jurisdiction to have the will proved, whether the same be in writing, in his possession or not, or is lost or destroyed, or beyond the jurisdiction of the state, or a nuncupative will." This gives you the right to request the will.
To search online you can also go to oscn.net (this is the official court site for the state of Oklahoma). First click on the tab "legal research" then click on "search non oscn records". Then you will need to fill out the the empty blanks - start out by clicking Alfalfa county from the drop down menu and entering your mothers name in blank for name. These should be the only blank you need to fill out. Press enter after you mother's name and the site will search for for any proceedings in this county. You can do an overall search for all counties and also go to "search oscn records" on the page before to search ocis counties in the state of Oklahoma. If there was a probate involving your mother, she should pop up in the searches. These are all free of charge. There might be documents you can click on if you locate the probate to give you more information.
Once you have located the appropriate county, usually the steps involved in obtaining a copy of a will from the probate court will include the following:
(1)Appearing in person and asking for a copy of the will, or making a written request by fax or mail if applying in person isn't feasible.
(2) Paying a copying fee for the number of pages that the will contains. These fees usually range from $.50 to a few dollars per page.
(3)Providing a self-addressed, stamped envelope for mailing the will copy if the request is not made in person.
If you have determined that your mother's last will and testament has not been filed for probate, then unfortunately it is not a public court record and so who can see it is addressed by applicable state law. In Oklahoma only the named beneficiaries, personal representatives and guardians for minor children (if applicable) will be allowed to see it. So this creates a dilemma - how will you know if you are, or are not, named in a deceased person's will if the person who has possession of the will won't let you see it (I'm assuming this is your sister)? If this is the case, then you should be able to force the person in possession of the will to file it with the appropriate probate court through a legal action filed in that court. In most states it is actually a crime for a person in possession of an original will not to file it with the appropriate probate court after the person in possession of the will learns that the person who made the will has died. This is addressed by 58 O.S. 24 which states "if it be alleged in the petition that the will is in the possession of a third person and the court is satisfied that the allegation is correct, an order must be issued and served upon the person having possession of the will, requiring him to produce it in the court at the time named in the order. If he has possession of the will and neglects or refuses to produce it in obedience to the order, he may by warrant of the court be committed to the jail of the county, and kept in close confinement until he produces it." You will have to bring a petition before the appropriate court in the appropriate county.
Aside from this, although you may be named in a will as a beneficiary, the will itself may not govern the distribution of the deceased person's property at all and so the will can become a useless piece of paper even if it is filed with the appropriate probate court. How can this happen? If all of the deceased person's property consists of non-probate assets
, such as joint deeds and accounts, TOD accounts and POD
accounts, life insurance and retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k)s, then all of the deceased person's property will pass directly to the other joint owners or the named beneficiaries – in other words, the deceased person's property will pass completely outside of the terms of their will and so it will not matter what the deceased person’s will says. If this is the situation, then the only recourse potential beneficiaries of the will have is to sit down with an estate and trust litigator to determine all of their legal rights and options. You can request probate in 58 O.S. 23.
I you have any further questions please let me know. I have given you a step by step guide and included phone numbers, addresses and statutes to hep you in your search. Please give my answer a positive rating if you are satisfied.