Assets that are left behind in a deceased person’s estate must generally be probated. In Oklahoma, it may be possible to streamline the process if certain criteria are met. This may help to ease the emotional burden of those tasked with settling the affairs of a deceased parent, spouse or sibling.
Eligibility for summary probate
Oklahoma law may make an estate eligible for summary probate if the deceased person has been dead for more than five years. Furthermore, the estate must be valued at no more than $200,000. Finally, the decedent must have lived in another state at the time of his or her death. In many cases, a summary probate proceeding takes about two months to complete, and it may be possible to settle an estate with a single court hearing.
The potential benefits of summary probate
Summary probate may be ideal if a beneficiary is looking to take control of a single asset such as a home or piece of land. In Oklahoma, homes are often valued at less than $200,000. It may also be ideal in the event that a will was not executed in a timely manner because it couldn’t be found or because of executor malfeasance. Having the ability to go through summary probate means that assets can be transferred to their intended owners in a proper and convenient manner.
Although probate is often thought of as a stressful and lengthy process, this doesn’t need to be the case. If your estate is small enough, it may qualify for a summary or other type of expedited proceeding. It may be possible to use a trust, beneficiary designation or other tools to maximize the chances that your estate avoids probate altogether.