How Long Does Probate Take in Oklahoma; The average time varies greatly depending on the assets and liabilities of the decedent and can take anywhere between four months to over a year. In Oklahoma, probate is required when a person dies as the sole owner of real estate or fails to name a designated beneficiary on their insurance policies, investment accounts, and bank accounts.
However, there are three different procedures for Estate administration for Oklahoma residents: (1) summary administration, (2) small estate, and (3) full probate, which creates a significant variance for how long the process can take.
Oklahoma law provides that an individual can go through summary administration of an estate in certain situations, shortening the probate timeframe significantly. To qualify for summary administration, one of the following conditions must be met:
- The value of the estate is less than or equal to two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000);
- The decedent has been deceased for more than five (5) years; or
- The decedent resided in another state at the time of death.
Suppose one of the above conditions is met. In that case, a petition for summary administration and a combined notice may be filed in the district where the deceased owned property or was residing when they passed away.
Timeframe For Summary Probate:
Upon filing the petition and combined notice, the court will grant an order admitting the petition and combined notice. Within ten (10) days of the court’s order admitting the petition and combined notice, all the required notices for creditors and heirs shall be published once each week for the following two (2) weeks in a newspaper distributed in the county where the petition is filed and mailed to all persons interested in the estate.
Creditors are allowed up to thirty (30) days after the order admitting the petition and combined notice to file a claim. While the number of claims filed against the estate can make the process longer, the expedited notice and claim requirements of summary administration can put the probate timeframe well below the typical four-month period mentioned above. However, the probate will never be faster than forty-five (45) days.
Small Estate Probate
According to Oklahoma law, if, after you file a petition for probate and the court has appointed a personal representative, it appears that the value of all of the deceased’s solely owned real and personal property is under one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000), the court will dispense with full probate procedures. To prove that the estate is under $150,000, the court will require the personal representative or executor of the estate to file an estate inventory and appoint an appraiser, if necessary.
Timeframe for Small Estate Probate
Similar to the Summary Probate, notice to creditors shall be published for two weeks, and creditors have thirty (30) days after notice publication to file a claim. If no claims are filed, the court will set a final hearing not less than thirty-four (34) days after the first notice as published. Again, this type of probate can get you well under the four-month timeframe but will not be faster than 34 days.
Full estate administration will occur if you do not qualify for any of the other probates and will take quite a bit longer. This probate requires more hearings and gives creditors and heirs more time to file claims and objections. As with all other probates, you must file a petition along with the original will if there is a will. If there is not a will the property will pass by administration to the heirs of the estate. The court will then appoint an executor or personal representative, and then the wait begins.
Timeframe For Full Probate
Once a petition is filed, the court will set a hearing date between ten (10) and thirty (30) days from the filing date and notify all interested parties of the hearing. Like in the other probates, notice to creditors must be published once a week for a minimum of two weeks. However, creditors are given two months to file a claim this time. As a result, the minimum time full administration will take is approximately four months. Although, if there are claims from creditors and objections from interested parties, it can take much longer.
As you can see, there are many variations of the probate process, and the timeframe can vary depending on the complexity of the assets, liabilities, and even the family and friends of the deceased. Therefore, if someone you know recently passed away and you are handling their estate, it is important that you speak to a probate attorney so that they can guide and help you through the daunting process of probate.
Oklahoma Estate Planning Lawyers
If you have any questions or concerns on the probate process and how long does probate take, reach out to our team of Oklahoma probate attorneys. We can help you throughout the entire probate process and give you peace of mind knowing that it is done right. Call Kania Law Office today at (918) 743-2233 or contact us online for a free consultation.