What Is the Oklahoma Probate Process?

Probate is the legal process of establishing the validity of a will and distributing assets to any beneficiaries. The purpose of probate is to try to prevent any fraudulent claims to an estate.

The probate process in Oklahoma is very similar to most other states in the U.S., however, there are slight differences.

Probate may not be necessary if the estate:

  • is less than $50,000;
  • contains assets held in joint tenancy with a surviving family member; and/or
  • is held in a living trust.

The Probate Process

For estates that don’t meet the criteria above, beneficiaries must submit the will (or lack thereof) to an Oklahoma court to begin probate.

The general probate proceedings are follows:

  1. Will is filed in the district court of the county where the deceased lived.
  2. Petition for Probate must be filed if there is or isn’t a will. This petition requests the appointment of an executor (if there is no will or no executor appointed in the will).
  3. Court issues ‘Letters Testamentary’ to the executor, which gives them the legal authority to act on behalf of the estate.
  4. Notice of probate is published in an official periodical where the deceased lived. If any creditors can make a claim to the estate, they have 2 months from the date of publication to do so.
  5. List, or inventory, of the estate assets is filed with the court within 2 months of appointing the executor.
  6. Petition to close probate is filed with the court once any creditors and/or taxes have been paid.
  7. Court issues an order to distribute awards to any beneficiaries.
  8. Fee for service is distributed to the executor. This fee is based on the size of the estate, but still subject to income taxes.

Providing Sound Legal Counsel

At Bundren Law Firm P.C., we understand probate can be a potentially stressful or confusing process. Our probate attorney will guide you and your loved ones through the legal proceedings and help divide all estate property.

Call our firm today at (918) 992-3300 or contact us online for a consultation.

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