Probate is the legal process by which a person’s estate is managed and distributed after death. The probate process includes:
- Identifying assets
- Paying debts
- Distributing assets
- Ancillary probate is necessary when someone lives in another State but owns property in Oklahoma.
- Ancillary probate can be thought of as supplementing the probate process done in the state of death, called “domiciliary probate.”
- The ancillary probate process requires reviewing the will and probate documents from the domiciliary probate proceedings and must be filed in the county where the property is located.
Summary Administration Proceedings
- Summary administration is generally reserved for smaller estates or the estates of people who die more than five years before.
- In Summary administration, the court forgoes the standard probate proceeding in favor of a simpler and often quicker process.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be a difficult and stressful experience. Our probate attorneys are ready to help make this tough time just a little bit easier.
Call us today at (405) 285-6858 to schedule a consultation with a Probate attorney.
Common Questions About Probate
Q: What is probate?
A: When a person dies, there is a process to determine the deceased person’s assets, to determine their value, and to distribute them to creditors and to heirs. This process is called Probate. This process takes place in a District Court, usually in the county where the deceased person lived. If the deceased person lived in another state, but owned property in Oklahoma, then the process is called Ancillary Probate. If the person lived in Oklahoma, but also left property in another state, then there would need to be a probate in Oklahoma as well as a probate in the other State. A probate attorney specializes in helping the heirs of a deceased person navigate the probate process and claim their inheritance.
Q: When do you need a probate?
A: There are many reasons that a probate needs to be opened in a District Court for a deceased person. A Probate Attorney can advise you as to whether you need to open a probate for a deceased person. However, the following are common situations where a probate would need to be opened for a deceased person:
- You need to open a probate if the deceased person left a Will.
- You need to open a probate if the deceased person owned a home or other real property such as land or mineral interests.
- You need to open a probate if the deceased person left more than $50,000 in a bank or investment account and did not name any payable on death persons on the account.
- You need to open a probate if the value of all the deceased person’s property (car, personal property, house, bank accounts) adds to over $50,000.
Q: Can a small estate avoid probate?
A: Yes, if the deceased person did not own any real estate it may be possible for the heirs to claim the assets using a Small Estate Affidavit if the total value of all the property of a deceased person is less than $50,000. The procedure for a Small Estate Affidavit can be found at 58 Okla. Stat. Ann § 393 and 6 Okla. Stat. Ann. § 906. For motor vehicles, you can fill out Oklahoma Tax Commission Form 405. In some cases, it may also be possible to claim a mineral interest using an Affidavit. The procedure for claiming a mineral interest through an Affidavit is found at 16 Okla. Stat. Ann. § 67. In either of these instances, consulting with a Probate Attorney will ensure that you are completing the Affidavit procedure correctly. If you are attempting to claim a mineral interest using an Affidavit, you should consult with a Probate Attorney that is also well versed in the law of mineral interest in Oklahoma. Fortunately, the attorneys at our firm are very experienced with not only mineral interests, but also probate procedure.
Q: What does a probate involve?
A: First a probate must be opened in the correct District Court in Oklahoma. A Probate Attorney will know which county to file the probate in, and how to open the probate. Then the Court will appoint a Personal Representative. After a Personal Representative is appointed, the Personal Representative works with the Probate Attorney to complete the probate of the Estate. There are numerous steps in the probate of the Estate. These steps and duties in probate require preparing and filing numerous legal documents, publishing notices in the local newspaper, appearing for hearings at the District Court, preparing tax returns, accounting for funds, and making a distribution of the property to the heirs of the deceased person.
If you have any more questions about the probate process, contact us at (405) 285-6858 to Schedule a Consultation or fill out the form on this site.