Inherited Headaches: Small Estates, Delayed Probates and Out-of-State Decedents
A relative died owning real estate or other property. You are entitled to inherit it but the property but there is a problem, holder of an investment is requiring a court order.  Or the title company says there needs to be a probate in order to obtain clear title.[1]  What do I do?

Luckily, Oklahoma has a special procedure[2] for certain situations small estates, non-residents and heirs who’s loved one died years ago. Estates that qualify are as follows:

  1. Estates valued less than $200,000;
  2. Estates of persons who have been dead more than 5 years; or
  3. Estates of persons who resided in other States.

The Summary Administration is designed to quickly resolve title problems for these estates.

These issues often arise in the following situations:

  •  Oil and Gas Title Problems
  • Real Estate Title Problems
  • Stocks, bonds, IRAs or other retirement accounts without beneficiary designations
  • Bank accounts
  • Other property issues.

The Court appoints a Special Administrator is appointed by the court. Notices are sent to creditors, heirs and legatees. A hearing is set at least 45 days later. If there are no objections or contested creditors’ claims, the Special Administrator files a final account. If the court, is satisfied a final account is entered that conveys property according to the Will or if there was no will according to the Descent and Distribution (Intestacy)[3] statute.

This procedure can be used whether or not the decedent had a Will or Trust.[4]

This procedure, while not without cost, can provide a relatively quick way to resolve various title problems.

Feel free to contact me about this or similar problems.



[1] Probate is a court proceeding overseen by a judge to insure that creditors, heirs and legatees are receive their rightful share of a decedent’s estate.

[2] Title 12 Okla. Stat. Section 245 (12 O.S. § 245).

[3] Intestacy is a statutory plan of inheritance for property subject to probate. (Property without a beneficiary designation, joint tenancy, transfer on death or provided for in a Trust.) 84 O.S. § 213.

[4] If property was not titled in a trust a probate is necessary.

About Richard Winblad

Richard Winblad is a lifelong Oklahoma City Metro resident with a law practice focused on Elder Law and Estate Planning. His practice focus helping seniors and veterans by giving sound legal estate planning advice including Medicaid Estate Planning and Veteran’s Benefit Qualification. In 1984, Richard graduated from OSU with an undergraduate degree in Business he later sought and earned a Law Degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1992. His practice is based in Edmond and is held in a beautiful pre-statehood home close to UCO at 102 E. Thatcher. He is president of the Oklahoma City Commercial Lawyers Association, a group that provides legal an ethical training for attorneys. He is also a member of “Lawyers with Purpose”, an organization that provides in depth training and support to attorneys who practice in the area of elder law. He received an AV Preeminent® rating by his peers through Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™. Dedicated to educating the public, Richard does workshops and presentations all around the state for professionals and laypersons. These programs provide vital information to our veterans and seniors as they look forward in planning living and financial needs that fit their desires.

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