Small Estate Affidavit
One alternative to probate can be the Oklahoma Small Estate Affidavit. Currently, this small estate affidavit Oklahoma form can be used for small estates under $50,000. With no legal representation, it requires less paperwork than probating a Last Will or administering a trust.
A small estate affidavit is a legal document that can be used to transfer property when the total value of all assets is less than a certain amount. This type of affidavit can be used to avoid the time and expense of probate.
There are several requirements that must be met in order to use a small estate affidavit. The total value of all assets must be less than $50,000, and the deceased must have resided in the state where the affidavit is filed for at least the last six months of their life.
The small estate affidavit form must be completed and signed by the deceased's spouse, heir, or executor. It must also be notarized.
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
There are actually two separate small estate affidavit oklahoma statute 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.
Small estate affidavit Oklahoma Requirements
The Oklahoma Small Estate Affidavit must be signed and sworn to by all heirs to the decedent’s estate. The Small estate affidavit Oklahoma must be attached to a certified copy of the death certificate and the small estate 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 it is an important tool in certain circumstances.
Free small estate affidavit Oklahoma form
In years past it was easy to draft the affidavit. However, as financial institutions have involved, so have the affidavit requirements for each bank, credit union, and financial company. In the past law firms would draft it, now it seems that every financial institution wants customers to use their specific small estate affidavit Oklahoma.
A small estate affidavit typically has no filing fee and can usually be completed without hiring a lawyer.
Estate planning attorneys recommend that all people with estates worth more than $25,000 complete a will and power of attorney in addition to a small estate affidavit.
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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