In Oklahoma and many states across the United States, the state legislature has provided a way for families with loved ones who have recently passed away to move some of their assets without needing to go to probate court if they meet certain characteristics. These forms are sometimes called Small Estate Affidavits in Oklahoma estate planning. It is called an Affidavit of Heirship. By avoiding probate, the family can determine the ownership of specific personal property assets quicker and easier than by opening probate. The use of an affidavit of heirship requires that very specific requirements are met. Its also limited to use mostly at banks and other financial institutions and can not exceed a maximum dollar value.
What Is An Affidavit Of Heirship in Oklahoma
Under Oklahoma law, successors (usually children) can file an affidavit of heirship if the deceased individual’s estate qualified as a “small estate.” The affidavit of heirship must contain specific information if its to be used to avoid the probate process. If this information is left out or filed incorrectly the certificate may be void on its face. The specific information includes the person leaving behind the assets, their family or heirs, and whether anyone else may be entitled to receive an inheritance, such as an orphaned child. If you are thinking about filing an affidavit of heirship, it will need to include:
- Identity of all of the heirs of the estate
- Your legal name and address
- Relationship to the deceased
- Length and type of relationship
- Name of any spouses of the deceased
- Name of any children of the deceased
- Name of any grandchildren of the deceased
- Name of any parents of the deceased
- Name of any siblings of the deceased
- Name of any nieces and nephews of the deceased
- Notarized signature
- Certified copy of the death certificate
You will then need to file the affidavit with the probate court and have it approved by a judge. This needs to be done before you can transfer any of the assets.
When Can You Use An Affidavit Of Heirship
You can use an Affidavit of Heirship as long as the assets are less than or equal to $20,000. They can be used for bank accounts or other investment accounts. This can be done for accounts that you accidentally left out of an estate plan.
Affidavits of Heirship are also commonly used to transfer mineral interests in Oklahoma. If there is any real estate or other personal property, such as a vehicle worth less than $20,000, you can use an Affidavit of Heirship to transfer those assets, too. Be sure to consult with an attorney if you are not sure if it is proper to use an Affidavit of Heirship and how to best get through the probate process in a timely fashion.
Probate Attorneys In Oklahoma
An experienced team of probate attorneys can help you gather all of the assets of your loved one’s estate and determine the best and easiest way to transfer the assets to the next generation. If you qualify to use an affidavit of heirship, they can help you fill out the form and transfer the assets, or if not, they can help you through the entire probate process and make it as easy as possible for you.
By evaluating the entire estate before opening probate, you can find the easiest way to transfer assets, saving you time and energy. The attorneys at Kania Law Office will assist you in determining the most strategic ways to move these assets. Call (918) 743-2233 for your free initial consultation or schedule your appointment online.