When a person dies, something has to be done with the estate (assets and debts) the decedent leaves behind. This process, which involves proving the validity of the deceased person’s will, is called probate, based on the Latin word “probo,” meaning to prove. This article provides a brief explanation of what probate is in Oklahoma.
Probate is the court-supervised process of finalizing a person’s estate after they have died. It includes verifying the validity of the will, taking inventory of the property left by the deceased, having it appraised, paying off the debts and taxes, and distributing the remainder of the proceeds in accordance with the deceased’s will or Oklahoma intestate law (if there is no will).
Probate generally takes several months to a year to complete. The person named as executor in the will is responsible for overseeing the probate process; or, if there is no will, it will be the responsibility of the state and the process typically requires the assistance of an experienced probate attorney. The process can be expensive and time consuming for the deceased person’s family, so people often take measures to avoid probate if possible.
Oklahoma offers a simplified probate procedure for small estates, for which probate is not necessary. What qualifies as a small estate will depend on which assets are counted as part of the estate. Generally, only solely owned property will be counted towards your probate estate. Property you own together with your spouse or partner will bypass probate and pass directly to your surviving spouse or partner. The simplified probate procedure is available for small estates of less than $200,000.
In addition to the simple probate procedure offered by Oklahoma to deal with small estates, Oklahoma offers an out-of-court affidavit procedure used for claiming property that has been bequeathed to you with a market value of less than $20,000.
Probate law is complex, and there are a variety of things that can go wrong if you attempt to navigate the law without the help of an attorney. So, when you are charged with wrapping up a deceased loved one’s estate, it is advisable to consult with an experienced probate attorney who can help you carry out your loved one’s last wishes more economically and expeditiously.
Free Consultation: Sapulpa Probate Attorney
Our knowledgeable probate lawyer can help you navigate tax laws to make sure you get the most of the estate you’re entitled to under the law. For a free consultation with a Sapulpa probate attorney, call the Wirth Law Office – Sapulpa at (918) 248-0067 or toll-free at (888) 947-8452 or submit the question form at the top right of this page. Either way you reach out to us we will promptly respond to your legal concerns about probate.