Who Are Next Of Kin In Oklahoma?

The term “next of kin” and “heirs at law” are often used interchangeably in Oklahoma law to mean those entitled to take under the statutory distribution of intestate estates (when a decedent dies without a will).  Next of kin in Oklahoma generally include the:

  1. Surviving spouse
  2. Children and issue
  3. Parents
  4. Siblings
  5. Grandparents

 

What are the Rules for Intestate Succession in Oklahoma?

The rules that apply to next of kin intestate heirs under Oklahoma’s intestate succession laws are set forth in Oklahoma Statutes § 84-213.  The next of kin that are in line to inherit under Oklahoma intestate succession law depend on the other survivors of the decedent.

Survivors of the Decedent

Share Of Intestate Estate

Surviving Spouse only

–          Spouse inherits 100% of intestate estate

Surviving spouse and parents

–          Spouse inherits all joint marital property

–          Spouse inherits undivided 1/3 interest in the remaining estate

–          Parents inherit remainder of estate

Surviving spouse and siblings

–          Spouse inherits all joint marital property

–          Spouse inherits undivided 1/3 interest in the remaining estate

–          Siblings inherit remainder of estate

Surviving spouse and issue (all issue are shared issue of decedent and surviving spouse)

–          Spouse inherits ½ of intestate property

–          Descendants inherit ½ of intestate property

Surviving spouse and issue (at least one of decedent’s issue is from a different relationship)

–          Spouse inherits ½ of all marital property

–          Children inherit ½ of all marital property

–          Spouse and descendants equally share remaining intestate property

Children and descendants only (no surviving spouse)

–          Children and surviving issue inherit everything

Parents (no surviving spouse or descendants)

–          Parents inherit everything

Siblings (no parents, spouse, or descendants)

–          Siblings split estate evenly

Grandparents (no parents, no issue, no spouse)

–          Paternal and maternal grandparents split estate if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent

Next of kin (no spouse, no issue, parents, grandparents, or issue of parents or grandparents)

–          Next of kin will share the estate based upon their relationship with the decedent

The State of Oklahoma

–          The State of Oklahoma receives the intestate estate if there is absolutely no one in the family in line to inherit

What Do Next Of Kin Heirs Inherit In Oklahoma?

If Oklahoma’s intestate succession laws control the disposition of the decedent’s estate because the decedent died without a valid will, the next of kin heirs will inherit from the assets that make up the probate estate.

Many people die without any probate assets.  For example, if a decedent dies only with bank accounts titled jointly with someone else, or has named pay-on-death beneficiaries on all of their accounts, then the account titling and beneficiary designations will control where the assets go, not Oklahoma intestate succession law.  See the Probate and Non-Probate Assets Chart.

What Do Half-Relatives Inherit Under Oklahoma Law?

If a half-relative of the decedent is a next of kin heir under Oklahoma law, they will inherit just the same as if they were a “whole” relative, with one exception.  Under Oklahoma Statute § 84-222:

Kindred of the half-blood inherit equally with those of the whole blood in the same degree, unless the inheritance come to the intestate by descent, devise or gift of some one of his ancestors, in which case all those who are not of the blood of such ancestors must be excluded from such inheritance.

Therefore, if property of a decedent was inherited from an ancestor, the property must stay in the blood family under Oklahoma law.