Ancillary Probates in Oklahoma
The spouses children, heirs or legatees of an individual who dies owning property in several states may be faced with having to have probate actions in each of those states.
A domiciliary probate (home state probate) is conducted in the state where the decedent resided at the time of death. Typically, a probate action is started in that state. The court appoints personal representative or executor. However, the home state probate court is generally powerless to convey property that is in Oklahoma. This may involve a second home, oil and gas interests or property titled (such as vehicle and boats) in the non-residential home.
Procedures vary by state. In Oklahoma, the process begins with filing a certified copy of the last will and testament, an order admitting the will to probate and an order distributing the estate from the domiciliary probate proceeding, or if the decedent died intestate, by attaching a duly certified copy of the order appointing the personal representative and an order distributing estate from the domiciliary estate.
There are requirements that any Oklahoma creditors be notified of the ancillary proceeding unless they were previously notified in the home state probate. Heirs (those who may be entitled to inherit) and legatees (persons or organizations named in the will) must be given notice. If addresses of heirs or legatees are unknown there may be the need for publication. Publication is advisable to due to potential unknown creditors, heirs and legatees.
The statute presumes that this will be an expedited proceeding and a final hearing may be set no less than 20 days from the date of filing. Assuming there are no objections or irregularities, the Oklahoma property can be distributed pursuant to the order of distribution of the home state probate.
Obviously, this is an overview in the event that there are no creditor claims or challenges by heirs and legatees. If there are challenges the regular Oklahoma probate procedure applies.
No Home State Probate? Use Summary Probate
Occasionally, the decedent may have resided in another state and a probate was not necessary there. For example, the decedent may have owned property in another state in joint tenancy, had a beneficiary designation or held property in a trust, etc. Oklahoma also statutes also provide for a summary probate. A summary probate does not require a home state probate.
Estate planning such as a the creation of a Family Trust is essential for individual owning property in multiple states to avoid the delays and complexities of multiple probates.