What is a surviving spouse entitled to receive under Oklahoma law?

Oklahoma ice Larry Smith from Flicker https://flic.kr/p/iwixig License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In an Oklahoma statute that is equal parts interesting and antiquated, the surviving spouse is entitled to get all of the following items after the death of the first spouse:

1. All family pictures.

2. A pew or other sitting in any house of worship.

3. A lot or lots in any burial ground.

4. The family Bible and all school books used by the family, and all other books used as part of the family library, not exceeding in value of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).

5. All wearing apparel and clothing of the decedent and his family.

6. The provisions for the family necessary for one (1) year’s supply, either provided or growing, or both; and fuel necessary for one (1) year.

7. All household and kitchen furniture, including stoves, beds, bedsteads and bedding.


These are not the only things the surviving spouse is entitled to, but they are some of the items that the Oklahoma Legislature considered important when the statute was added in 1947!.

Title 58, Section 311.

The other thing to keep in mind is that none of these items are subject to be taken or sold to pay debts.  This means there is swath of items that creditors cannot touch under Oklahoma estate law, a necessary protection for family.


Oklahoma Estate Planning

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."


Sandra Lynn Pulley

In Oklahoma, when a surviving spouse is a “second” spouse who signed an antenuptual agreement, AND when the surviving spouse and the “now deceased” spouse were still both living, the couple had been separated and living in completely separate households for more than six years at the time of the deceased person’s death, is the surviving spouse truly entitled to move BACK into the home (house) if the deceased’s heirs (his children) are the legal owners of the property and house? FYI, the surviving spouse was never an owner of the house/property, as it belonged wholly to the now deceased spouse. The Oklahoma statute is clearly antiquated and was written at a time when people did not marry and divorce or separate as is so common these days. Has this statute been updated EVER, and what needs to happen for it to become more current and in keeping with the times?



Thank you for reading the article and the comment. While I can’t give you specific legal advice based on your comment, I can say that the right to stay in (or move back into) the house is based on the house being the marital homestead.

If there is a prenuptial agreement and the home is not owned by either spouse, it seem questionable whether the surviving spouse could move back in.

As for the statute (58 O.S. sec. 311), it was last updated in 1953 and your right, it could probably use a bit of refresh.