Can a Small Estate Avoid Probate In Oklahoma?

Yes, if the total value of a decedent’s probate personal property is less than $50,000, the property can be obtained by the decedent’s successors using a Small Estate Affidavit, instead of going through the Oklahoma probate process.

Using a small estate affidavit makes it easier for a decedent’s successors to transfer property left by the decedent.

When Can a Small Estate Affidavit Be Used In Oklahoma?

A small estate affidavit can be used in lieu of Oklahoma probate when:

  1. The fair market value of property located in Oklahoma owned by the decedent and subject to disposition by will or intestate succession at the time of the decedent’s death, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00);
  2. No application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted in any jurisdiction;
  3. Each claiming successor is entitled to payment or delivery of the property in the respective proportions set forth in the affidavit; and
  4. All taxes and debts of the estate have been paid or otherwise provided for or are barred by limitations.

 

These requirements are set forth in 58 O.S. § 393 of the Oklahoma Probate Procedure Code.

What Are The Requirements For an Oklahoma Small Estate Affidavit?

The Oklahoma small estate affidavit must be signed and sworn to by the heirs of the decedent’s estate (signed in front of a notary).  The small estate affidavit must include the following information:

  • Decedent’s date of death;
  • County where decedent resided at death;
  • Statement that no probate is pending;
  • Value of the estate (must be less than $50,000);
  • Heirs that the decedent’s assets should be transferred to;
  • A list of the heirs; and
  • Statement that no one has superior rights to the estate.

 

Some Oklahoma counties provide a sample form that can be used for the small estate affidavit, but you should always make sure that the form is updated with the current amount that qualifies for a small estate in Oklahoma.  Prior to 2017, the small estate threshold was only $20,000, and some forms still include this outdated number.

If you are unsure as to whether or not the Decedent’s property qualifies as a small estate under Oklahoma law or whether the small estate affidavit can be used in your particular situation, contact an Oklahoma probate attorney.

 

 

Oklahoma Probate and Trust Information