How Long Does Probate Take In Oklahoma?

The average probate in Oklahoma in a simple estate will take about 4 to 6 months.  This is if the administration is straightforward, simple, and goes according to plan.

Sometimes probate in Oklahoma can take a shorter or longer time, depending on the specific circumstances of the estate.

As a general rule of thumb, the more assets and beneficiaries in an estate, the longer it takes for an Oklahoma executor or administrator to fully administer.

Simple Oklahoma Probate: 4 to 6 Months

As a general rule of thumb, the Oklahoma probate process could be completed in 4 to 6 months.  This is in a probate with a diligent personal representative, beneficiaries that are cooperative, and no messy issues along the way (such as big creditor claims or having to locate beneficiaries).

The main reason that an Oklahoma probate takes months is because of the creditor claim period.  After notice to creditors is given, creditors have at least two months to make a claim against the estate.  Because of this timeline, everyone has to wait this amount of time to move the probate process along.  Read Creditors In Oklahoma Probate to learn more.

The personal representative will also have to file an inventory, and apply for a final hearing and distribution.  If no one objects, then the probate can be closed out after everyone is paid and the estate is distributed.

Any objection, delay by creditors, or speed bumps along the way can stretch out the Oklahoma probate process beyond the six month time period.

Small Estates In Oklahoma: A Matter of Days Or Weeks

Oklahoma has two procedures for small estates that take very little time to probate.

The first is an affidavit that does not require you to go to probate court at all.  The affidavit can be used if the value of the Oklahoma probate estate, minus liens and encumbrances, is not more than $50,000, and does not contain real estate or mineral rights.  58 O.S. § 393.  Read more about small estate affidavits here.

The other procedure for smaller estate is called a summary administration.  A summary administration can be used if the Oklahoma probate estate is not more than $200,000, and either:

  • The decedent passed away over five years ago, or
  • The decedent resided in another state when they died.

 

The conditions for a summary administration can be found at 58 O.S. § 245.  A summary administration is much faster than a regular formal probate and can take roughly 6-8 weeks.

Complicated Or Litigated Oklahoma Probate: Years

Not all probates are straightforward with beneficiaries that get along.  If the estate is involved in any time of litigation, the timeline for the process is expanded to years.

If someone files a will contest, the dispute over the validity of the will takes place before the probate process can run its course.  Sometimes a fiduciary is appointed to administer the estate during the litigation, but if the admission of a will to probate is delayed because of litigation, no distributions will be made until the validity of the will is determined, and the beneficiaries of the estate identified.

Litigation can also occur over surviving spouse rights such as elective share or family allowance.

In intestate estates, litigation can also occur.  Parties might fight over the identity of the heirs, who has the priority to be appointed as administrator, or creditor claims.

Also, litigation often occurs over the conduct of the fiduciary in the administration of the estate.  If the executor or administrator is accused of a breach of fiduciary, resolution of the allegations must occur before final distribution.

In sum, although the probate process in Oklahoma can be completed in 4 to 6 months, the answer to how long the Oklahoma probate process takes depends on the particular dynamics of each estate.  Your Oklahoma probate lawyer will work with you to make the process as efficient as possible, but many times circumstances are beyond the lawyer’s control.