Five Questions and Answers about Oklahoma probate


What is Oklahoma probate?
Oklahoma probate is the process of a court administering the estate of someone who dies to determine:

1. What property the person owned.
2. What debts the person had.
3. Who is entitled to receive the property.

Probate can happen even if you have a Last Will and Testament or a Living Trust. One of the most important elements in determining whether an estate will need to be probated is property: is there property that can’t be transferred without an order from a court? Typically, this is real property, although it may also be mineral interests, bank accounts or investment accounts as well. There are some ways to avoid probate even after a person dies, I listed some of them in this post.


When would you need to use Oklahoma probate?
It most often happens when a person dies as the sole owner of real property or with an insurance policy with the beneficiary designated as the “estate”.  There is no way to transfer title to property without a court order.  When the heirs try to sell the property, they will discover that a probate is necessary.  BUT you might also consider my series “Six Ways to Avoid Probate after Someone Passes Away“.


How long does Oklahoma probate take?
It varies by how complicated it is and what you are trying to accomplish, but generally anywhere from five months to one year.


What is Oklahoma summary probate? Summary Probate
Summary probate is a shorter, quicker version of a full-blown probate. Rather than there being two hearings in front of the Judge, there is only one hearing, at the end of the process. To give you an idea of what to expect, below is a visualization of the Oklahoma summary probate process.  You can read a more detailed article about Oklahoma summary probate here.


How much does Oklahoma probate cost?
It varies based on the attorney and level of complication of the case but typically you can expect $3,000.00 to $4,000.00 in attorney fees and costs.

If you are looking for an attorney to handle your Oklahoma probate, consider this post about finding a probate attorney.

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."