Do All Wills Have to Be Probated in Oklahoma?

By Joseph Scrofano

Probate is the legal process where a court oversees the administration of a person’s estate after death. It typically includes taking an inventory of all of the estate’s assets, repaying any debts or taxes from the estate, and distributing the remaining assets pursuant the will’s instructions. In Oklahoma, as in most states, the first step is for the will's executor to file the will for probate in the district court where the decedent resided.

General Process

All wills must be probated in Oklahoma. Once the executor files the will with the court, the court’s first responsibility is to decide if the will is legal and authentic. This process is relatively simple unless an interested party challenges the validity or authenticity of the will. Once the will is authenticated, the executor must file an inventory of the estate’s assets with the court. The executor must collect all monies due to the estate, find all the heirs and possible heirs listed in the will, account for any and all debts and taxes, and pay those amounts -- all with the supervision of the court.

Legal Matters

The regular probate process includes the preparation and filing of several legal pleadings, the publishing of certain notices to creditors and possible heirs in newspapers, attendance and participation in several court hearings, property appraisals for the estate and accounting for all funds. In addition, the executor must prepare interim and final tax returns for the estate, and distribute the property pursuant to the will’s instructions and with approval from the court.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Small Estates

While all wills must be filed for probate, small estates may go through a much simpler probate process than larger estates. Under Oklahoma law, a small estate is defined as $150,000 or less. Expedited and simplified probate procedures can be initiated with an application by the executor and approval of the court.

Small Estate Probate

Wills with estates valued at less than $150,000 must be probated. However, the executor can apply to the court for expedited procedures. This may be done only after the appraisal of the estate’s assets determines that they are worth less than $150,000. The court has the authority to dispense with the regular probate proceedings, order notice to any creditors, then summarily order a hearing to distribute the assets and discharge the probate after the executor provides the final accounting. This process generally follows a shorter time frame than regular probate, and may save the estate money.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
The Probating of Kentucky Wills
 

References

Resources

Related articles

Requirement to File a Will After Death in Texas

On the death of a Texas resident, the laws of probate court govern the handling of wills. Probate is the process of "proving" that the will is valid, and that its instructions conform to the law. During the probate process, the court grants letters of administration to the executor, and oversees the handling of the estate. The case begins with the filing of the will in the probate court having jurisdiction in the county where the deceased lived.

California Executor Checklist

The executor is the person who manages the estate of the deceased, also known as the decedent, during the probate process. The executor is responsible for paying debts of the estate and distributing assets to the heirs. California law allows for the compensation of executors from the estate assets.

How to Settle a Will in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, the disposition of assets under a will is governed by the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code. When someone dies and leaves a valid will, his assets are separated into probate and non-probate assets, and his probate assets are distributed in accordance with the terms of the will. A basic understanding of Massachusetts probate law is important if you have been appointed executor of an estate that is subject to the jurisdiction of a Massachusetts probate court.

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

Related articles

Who Gets Paid First Out of a Deceased's Estate?

Probate is the process of settling a decedent's estate under court supervision. State law may establish an informal ...

The Process of Opening an Estate

Although the process of opening an estate varies from state to state, many aspects of the process are essentially the ...

Time to Probate a Will in Texas

A Texas decedent's estate must be probated under most circumstances. To go through probate, the will's personal ...

Responsibilities of an Executor of Estate in Nashville, Tennessee

The probate division of the Seventh Circuit Court oversees probate of estates in Nashville, Tennessee. The executor of ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED