Oklahoma Small Estate Affidavit
One alternative to probate is the Oklahoma Small Estate Affidavit. This affidavit can be used for small estates under $50,000 with no legal representation and it requires less paperwork than probating a Last Will or administering a trust.
It really should not be looked at as an alternative to the probate process, as much as it is option available where total assets are under $50,000. If you own real estate or other titled assets, then probate might still be required to transfer those assets into your heirs' names after death.
Prior to 2017 when the Oklahoma Legislature increased the threshold, total assets had to be under $20,000. The new $50,000 number will help families avoid the cost of an Oklahoma Probate.
Oklahoma Small Estate Affidavit Statutes
There are actually two separate Oklahoma Statutes that address this issue. The first is 58 O.S. Section 393 in the Oklahoma Probate Procedure Code; and the second is 6 O.S. Section 906 in the Oklahoma Banking Code.
As you can imagine if someone has a valid Last Will, then these statutes cannot be applied. This is because even if the estate is less than $50,000, the decedent left specific, presumably legally valid, declarations on how to distribute their estate.
Oklahoma Small Estate Affidavit Requirements
The Oklahoma Small Estate Affidavit must be signed and sworn to by all heirs to the decedent’s estate. It must be attached to a certified copy of the death certificate and the affidavit must contain the following information:
- The date of death;
- County and State at the time of death;
- Statement that there is no probate pending;
- Value of the estate;
- Heirs that the money or asset should be transferred to;
- List of heirs; and
- Statement that no one else has a superior right to heirs.
The above statements must be sworn to by all heirs and their signatures witnessed by qualified Notary Public.
Oklahoma Small Estate Affidavit Form
This does not apply to all situations, but a Small Estate Affidavit is an important tool in certain circumstances.
If you are not certain whether to take advantage of this, then please call the Cortes Law Firm and we are happy to review the probate procedures available to you and your family.
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