Inheritance Transfer Laws in Oklahoma

By Bernadette A. Safrath

A person can acquire a significant amount of money and property during his lifetime. These assets are collectively called an estate. When the owner dies, his heirs may be eligible to inherit from that estate. Title 84 of the Oklahoma Statutes sets forth the procedure for inheritance transfers, either from a will, by intestate succession (when the owner died without leaving a valid will), or automatically by right.

Transfers Upon Death

Certain property cannot be inherited by will or intestate succession. This is because the property already has a beneficiary designated and that beneficiary will inherit the property upon the death of the property owner. For example, any assets placed in trust and any bank accounts designated as "payable on death" or "transfer on death" will be transferred to the named beneficiary. Additionally, any property the decedent owned as a joint tenant with at least one other person automatically passes to the surviving joint owners in equal shares by "right of survivorship."


Oklahoma law provides that any competent person 18 years or older can make a valid will. The will must be in writing and signed by the testator, the person who makes the will. A testator must make the will voluntarily, free from any undue influence. In order to make sure the requirements are met, a will must be signed by two impartial witnesses who attest to the testator's identity, age and mental competence.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Spousal Right of Election

Under Oklahoma law, surviving spouses cannot be disinherited. A spouse must receive a bequest in the will that is more than or equal to what she would receive through intestate succession. If a decedent did not bequeath an appropriate percentage of the estate to the surviving spouse, the spouse is entitled to seek an "elective share." The spouse must file a petition for the right of election before the hearing for final administration of the estate is set. The court will then award the elective share of one-half of the decedent's estate.

Intestacy Laws

When a person dies without a valid will, his estate is transferred to beneficiaries in accordance with Oklahoma's intestacy laws. According to these laws, a surviving spouse is the first eligible beneficiary. The spouse will inherit the entire estate if the decedent is not survived by children, parents or siblings. If there are children and the children are also the surviving spouse's, the surviving spouse will inherit one-half of the estate and the children inherit equal shares of the other half. Children inherit equal shares of an entire estate when there is no surviving spouse. If there are also no children or parents, the decedent's siblings are eligible to inherit.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
South Carolina Estate Laws



Related articles

Can a Spouse Be Excluded in a Will in Illinois?

When one spouse in a marriage dies, most property will pass to the surviving spouse. However, Illinois law permits a testator, the person making a will, to omit his spouse. If a spouse is not included in a will, she is considered disinherited. Illinois law also protects a disinherited spouse, allowing her to still claim a portion of the deceased's estate.

What Happens to an Estate if My Dad Died in Louisiana?

Probate is the means by which a court transfers legal ownership of property from a deceased person to his heirs, usually according to his wishes as reflected in a will. Transferring legal title to property usually requires a probate proceeding in Louisiana, regardless of whether the decedent left a will. Louisiana allows the winding up of some relatively small estates without a probate proceeding, but all the conditions imposed by state law must be met in order for a probate court to distribute estate assets without a formal probate proceeding.

Legal Spousal Inheritance Rights in the State of Kansas

The property in a person's estate is passed to his beneficiaries when he dies. Many people prepare for this by making a will naming the people who will receive their property. A surviving spouse is almost always a beneficiary. However, if a spouse is disinherited, Kansas law provides a remedy that permits the spouse to still inherit from the estate. Additionally, if a person died without a will, a surviving spouse inherits through Kansas' "intestate succession" laws.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

The Widow's Legal Rights in South Carolina

South Carolina law provides a surviving spouse with the right to inherit from her deceased spouse's estate. An estate ...

Florida Laws on Estate Disbursement

The Florida Probate Code is a compilation of laws that sets forth how a person's estate is to be disbursed after death. ...

Inheritance Laws & Marital Property in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, a married person can make a will and leave everything to his spouse, if he chooses. However, if a ...

What Must a Surviving Spouse Inherit?

The amount a surviving spouse must inherit depends on a number of factors, including whether the married couple lived ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED