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Oklahoma Probate and Estate Tax Laws

Losing a loved one is never easy. When it happens, however, those left behind have the difficult task of figuring out what to do with that person's possessions or what is known as the deceased person or decedent's "estate," which may include cash, property, or other investments such as stocks.

Settling the decedent’s estate after they pass is referred to as estate administration and usually occurs under the supervision of a probate court except under certain circumstances. This a quick summary of probate and estate tax laws in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Probate and Estate Tax Laws

The following table outlines probate and estate tax laws in Oklahoma.

Code Sections OKLA. STAT. § 58-1, et seq.: Oklahoma Probate Code
Types of Estate Administration

Regular probate proceedings include the following:

  • Uncontested estates: the executor files a petition for probate of the will, notice is given to all interested parties of a hearing regarding the petition and a judge ultimately admits the will into probate.
  • Contested estates: after a petition for probate, an interested party can contest the probate by providing written grounds for contest and a judge hears evidence from both sides at a trial and ultimately issues a decision to admit or refuse to admit the will into probate.
    • Grounds for contest include competency of the decedent, duress, menace, fraud, or other undue influence at the time of the will, improper execution and attestation of the will, and any other issues affecting its validity.
    • Contests can also be made after probate (within 3 months after the will is admitted) if there is new evidence which places the will into doubt.
  • The minimum amount of time for probate of uncontested and contested estates is 1 year.

Regular probate proceedings can be bypassed under certain circumstances:

  • By affidavit from an interested party for estates $20,000 or less.
    • 10 or more days after the person's death, an affidavit may be prepared by an interested party regarding entitlement to a specific asset and the estate must release the asset after a 10 day waiting period.
  • By the court for "small estates" valued at $150,000 or less.
    • After a petition for probate and appointment of a personal representative, the court can allow bypassing of regular proceedings if the value of the estate is $150,000 or less, determined based upon an inventory and appraisal (unless an appraisal is found unnecessary).
  • By petition for summary administration from an interested party in any of the following scenarios:
    • The value of the estate is $200,000.00 or less
    • The person has been deceased for more than 5 years
    • The person resided in another jurisdiction at the time of death
Family Allowances

A reasonable allowance in money out of the estate necessary for their maintenance for one year, including fuel. Additional allowances may be allowed by the court, but not over 1 year if the estate is insolvent. If funds are insufficient, the court can authorize mortgaging of the decedent's real estate, with the exception of the home, for the purpose of borrowing money.

What Assets Go Through Probate? A person's real and personal property at the time of his or her death.
Estate or Other Taxes None for deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2010.

Oklahoma Probate and Estate Tax Laws: Related Resources

Estate decisions are complicated and going through the probate process can be difficult. If you would like legal assistance with a probate or estate tax matter, you can contact an Oklahoma probate and estate administration attorney. You can also visit FindLaw’s sections on Probate Basics, Estate Tax Laws, and Oklahoma Estate Planning Laws for more articles and information on this topic.

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