When person dies in Oklahoma, many times their estate will go through probate. It is during this time that the estate is settled under court supervision. In general, once an estate has a personal representative assigned, they are able to gather the estate's assets and creditor information.
Once an estate executor has been named, they have a number of duties. In general, they will have to gather the estate's assets and notify creditors and beneficiaries. They also must notify all creditors, including credit cards, mortgage companies and loans, among others.
When it comes to the order of payments out of a person's estate during the probate process, the estate administrator, appraiser, attorney and whomever helps with the management of the estate are usually the first to be paid. The deceased's burial and funeral expenses would generally be paid next. The deceased's medical bills or hospice care for their last illness will be next to be paid. Next, the estate administrator needs to file the descendant's last tax return and make any tax payments that are due. Creditors will be paid next followed by the beneficiaries if there is any money left.
The probate process can be complicated, especially for a family who just lost a loved one. An estate planning attorney may be able to help a family through the probate process and make sure their interests are being protected. During the probate process, there is a lot of paperwork, taxes to work out, inventories to be made and creditors and heirs to be paid. An estate planning attorney can make sure this is all handled in a timely and efficient manner.
Source: info.legalzoom.com, "Who gets paid first out of a deceased's estate?", Cindy Hill, accessed Sept. 10, 2017