Probate


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What exactly is Probate?

Probate is a legal process where a court determines that someone is deceased and who will receive his or her property after it is administered.

What do I need to do to Get Started?

This starts with a telephone call or by completing an interview. Click here for Interview. We’ll visit to determine what is needed. In a typical case there is no need to travel to my office or the court. We can communicate through email and mail to deal with the necessary paperwork. Usually, there are only a few documents that the client will need to review and sign.

Why is Probate Required for Oil and Gas?

In Oklahoma mineral such as Oil and Gas are considered real estate.  Often individuals would sell the surface rights to their property but keep the mineral rights.  They did so because they realized that someday those property interests may become valuable.  Sometimes, many generations later oil and gas development occurs, and the decedents need to prove up their inheritance through probate to get paid. Probate is a way to get the royalties paid to you.

Is Probate Difficult?

A probate case can be very simple with the right attorney.  Basically, the client provides information about the person who died, who survived him or her, what property they owned and whether there were any creditors.  The attorney prepares the paperwork for the client to review and sign.

Do I have to Appear in Probate Court?

No, except in rare cases.  Often the client can receive and return various items by mail.  The attorney can handle any appearances.  The exception would be if the case becomes contested.

What if my Relative Didn’t Have a Will?

A probate case can be handled if the person did or did not have a Will.  If there was no Will, the distributions are determined by Oklahoma intestacy statutes.

How Long Does a Probate Take to Complete?

Often a “summary probate procedure” can be used.  This is available if any of the following apply: The person didn’t live in Oklahoma at the time of death; or The person has been dead more than 5 years; or The estate is valued at $200,000 or less.

In these cases, the time-frame is usually 60-80 days depending upon the availability of the court.  Otherwise, a standard probate may be required which can take six or more months to complete.

What if the Estate has been Probated in Another State?  What is an Ancillary Probate?

If the mineral rights are in Oklahoma, another state’s court does not have authority (jurisdiction) to transfer them.  Therefore, and Oklahoma probate is required, even if, there was a probate in another state.  Often an Ancillary Probate procedure can be used which shortens the timeline to about 50 days.  Procedure is available if the home state probate case is concluded and certain orders were filed there.[1]

Is there a Statute of Limitations to File Probate in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma does not have a Statute of Limitations to file a probate. However, doing so promptly can avoid monies being paid to a state’s unclaimed property fund.

How Much Does a Probate Cost?

Most mineral probate cases qualify for a flat rate of $3,400 which includes court costs, publication fees, mailing copying and attorney’s fees.  If there are multiple counties where minerals are located, there are additional recording fees of about $30 per county.

I Filed an Affidavit of Heirship, why do I Need a Probate?

In Oklahoma an Affidavit of Heirship can create title in the heirs.  However, there are many requirements, the biggest stumbling block  but only after it has been recorded at least ten years with the County Clerk were the minerals are located and during that 10-year period not instrument inconsistent with affidavit has been filed of record.  Therefore, few companies paying royalties are willing to rely upon an Affidavit of Heirship unless 10 years have passed.

What does Royalty Payments in Suspense or Payments on Hold Mean?

This means that the royalties or other payments have been calculated and set aside until the title of the person entitled to receive them has been established.  Often this means a probate.  A company may use a Division Order Analyst who determines what “title requirements” are needed to put royalties into “pay status”. 

My or My Relative’s Funds are held by the Oklahoma Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division or listed in the Mineral Owners Escrow Account.  How do I claim these?

Oklahoma State Treasurer’s Office/Unclaimed Property (405) 521-4275 or online www.ok.gov/treasurer/Unclaimed_Property/index.html.

They will inform you if a probate or an affidavit is sufficient to claim the funds.


What if I have more than one Estates, can they be joined in a single joint administration case?

Sometimes there is a need to take care of two or more estates in order to get minerals into the name of the rightful heirs.  While this may seem like a daunting task, it can often be accomplished in one case.  For example, if grandfather owned mineral and died, then his daughter died.  Neither had a probate done for their estates.  Oklahoma law allows multiple estates to be administered in one case.    

In this case the living grandchildren would inherit through their line.

What are the Advantages of Jointly Administered Probate Cases?

  • Court Costs:  The filing fee for a single or joint probate case is the same.
  • Publication Costs:  Probate cases require publication.  A joint probate is almost ½ the cost of filing two separate probate cases.

[1] The requirement would be order admitting the will to probate and an order distributing the estate from the home state 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 home state probate estate.  58 O.S. § 677.


Searching for Oklahoma Land Records for Probate, Quiet Title or Research? Need to find deeds for parent, grandparent or others? Generally you can search by name and legal description.

Deed, Mortgage, Lease, and other Records:

Find the county name below and click to search. Use keep in mind that may counties do not have all of their records online.



Counties with Land Record Search Links

AdairGrantNowata
AlfalfaGreerOkfuskee
AtokaHarmonOklahoma
BeaverHarperOkmulgee
BeckhamHaskellOsage
BlaineHughesOttawa
BryanJacksonPawnee
Caddo unavailable.JeffersonPayne
CanadianJohnstonPittsburg
CarterKayPontotoc
CherokeeKingfisherPottawatomie
ChoctawKiowaPushmataha
CimarronLatimerRoger Mills
ClevelandLe FloreRogers
CoalLincolnSeminole
ComancheLoganSequoyah
CottonLoveStephens
CraigMcClainTexas
CreekMcCurtainTillman
CusterMcIntoshTulsa Post-1923
DelawareMajorTulsa Pre-1923
DeweyMarshallWagoner
EllisMayesWashington
GarfieldMurrayWashita
GarvinMuskogeeWoods
GradyNobleWoodward

How to Search for All Oklahoma Counties with One Search:

Unfortunately, Oklahoma does not have a central repository for searching for deeds.  Many counties records can be search no or low cost.   Most will charge a modest fee to print or view a document. Caddo County offers no online search capabilities.

Want to search statewide? Sixty-five counties are available through OkCountyRecords and it is possible to do a remedial name search through that link.  Eleven counties listed below must be searched individually:

Caddo County — (405) 247 – 6609  Assessor Only

Canadian County– Search
Cleveland County Clerk — Search
Creek County– Search
Garfield County, 580.237.0226  Search  from  1990  Assessor
Oklahoma County —Search
Payne County —Search
Pottawatomie County– Search
Rogers County Clerk Jeanne M. Heidlage (918) 923-4796 — Search
Tulsa County Clerk Subscription based  Pre-Statehood to 1923
Wagoner County —Search

Woods, Search  

Searching for Probate Cases:

Oklahoma has a method to search statewide. However, some counties have limited databases that may not show all cases. Click here to begin.


OIL and GAS Records Oklahoma Corporation Commission

Need to know which Wells are active in your area?  Check here.  Simple Search by Legal Description: 

Other data: 

Oklahoma Well Data Data Base, Search by Well name, Location, Legal Etc.  Also Here

Oklahoma Tax Commission Production Records

Pooling Orders

OCC Unitization Records

New OCC Case Processing Website


AcreValue Website, Records of acreage sales by legal

Mineral Insight Leasing Values

Enter Legal Description to View on Google Earth

Oklahoma Unclaimed Property Search

Multi-State Unclaimed Search

Mineral Interest Escrow Account Search

Production Reports Oklahoma Tax Commission

Well Records Search by Legal

Section Layout

Typical Section Layout

Where to file deeds and land records in Oklahoma

Always call to verify addresses as they do change. It is also a good idea to verify the cost for filing various items.

AdairPO Box 169Stilwell, OK   74960918 696-7198
Alfalfa300 South Grand Avenue;Cherokee, OK   73728(580) 596-3158
Atoka200 East Court Street Suite 201Atoka, OK   74525(580) 889-5157
BeaverPO Box 338Beaver, OK  73932(580) 625-3141
BeckhamPO Box 428Sayre, OK  73662(580) 625-3141
BlainePO Box 138Watonga, OK  73772(580) 623-5890
BryanPO Box 1789Durant, OK  74701(580) 924-2202
CaddoPO Box 68Anadarko, OK  73005(405) 247 – 6609
CanadianPO Box 458El Reno, OK  73036(405) 295-6130
CarterPO Box 1236Ardmore, OK  73402((918) 456-3171
Cherokee213 West Delaware Street, Room 200Tahlequah, OK   74464(918) 456-3171
Choctaw300 East Duke StreetHugo, OK  74743(580) 326-3778
CimarronPO Box 145Boise City, OK  73933(580) 544-2251
Cleveland201 South Jones, Suite 210Norman, OK  73069(405) 366-0240
Coal4 North Main, Suite 9Coalgate, OK  74538(580) 927-4015
Comanche315 SW 5th Street, Rm 304Lawton, OK 73501(580) 355-5214
Cotton301 North Broadway, 3rd FloorWalters, OK  73572(580) 875-3026
CraigPO Box 397Vinita, OK  74301(918) 256-2507
Creek317 E Lee Ave, Suite 100Sapulpa, OK  74006918-224-4084
CusterPO Box 300Arapaho, OK  73620(580) 323-1221
Delaware327 South 5th StJay, OK  74346(918) 253-4520
DeweyPO Box 368Taloga, OK  73667(918) 253-4520
EllisPO Box 197Arnett, OK  73832(580) 328-5361
GarfieldPO Box 1664Enid, OK 73702(580) 885-7301
Garvin201 West Grant St, 2nd floor,Pauls Valley, OK  73075(405) 238-2772
GradyPO Box 1009Chickasha, OK  73023(405) 238-2772
Grant112 E. GuthrieMedford, OK  73759(580) 395-2274
GreerPO Box 207‘Mangum, OK  73554(580) 782-3664
Harmon114 West Hollis StreetHollis, OK  73550(580) 688-3658
HarperPO Box 369Buffalo, OK  73834(580) 735-2012
Haskell105 SE 3rd Unit CStigler, OK  74462(918) 967-2884
Hughes200 North Broadway, Suite 5Holdenville, OK   74848(405) 379-5487
JacksonPO Box 515Altus, OK  73522(580) 482-4070
Jefferson220 North Main Street, Room 103Waurika, OK  73573(580) 228-2029
Johnston403 West Main, Suite 101Tishomingo, OK  73460(580) 371-3184
KayPO Box 450Newkirk, OK  74647(580) 362-2537
Kingfisher101 South Main Street, Room 3Kingfisher, OK  73750(405) 375-3887
KiowaPO Box 73Hobart, OK  73651(580) 726-5286
Latimer109 North Central Street, Room 103Wilburton, OK  74578(918) 465-4002
Le FlorePO Box 218Poteau, OK  74953(918) 647-5738
LincolnPO Box 126Chandler, OK  74834(405) 258-1264
Logan301 East Harrison, Room 102Guthrie, OK  73044(405) 282-0266
Love405 W. Main, Ste. 203Marietta, OK 73448(580) 276-3059
MajorPO Box 379Fairview, OK  73737(580) 227-4732
Marshall219 PlazaMadill, OK 73446(580) 795-3220
MayesOne Court Place, Suite 120Pryor, OK  74361(918) 825-2426
McClainPO Box 629Purcell, OK  73080(405) 527-3360
McCurtainPO Box 1078Idabel, OK 74745(580) 286-2370
McIntoshPO Box 110Eufaula, OK  74432(918) 689-2741
MurrayPO Box 442Sulphur, OK  73086(580) 622-3920
MuskogeePO Box 1008Muskogee, OK  74402(918) 682-7781
Noble300 Courthouse Drive – #11Perry, OK  73077(580) 336-2141
Nowata229 North Maple StreetNowata, OK  74048(918) 273-2480
OkfuskeePO Box 108Okemah, OK  74859(918) 623-1724
Oklahoma320 Robert South Kerr, Room 203Oklahoma City, OK  73102405-713-1540
OkmulgeePO Box 904Okmulgee, OK  74447(918) 756-0788
OsagePO Box 87Pawhuska, OK  74056(918) 287-3136
Ottawa102 East Central Avenue, Suite 103Miami, OK   74354(918) 542-3332
Pawnee500 Harrison Street, Room 202Pawnee, OK  74058(918) 762-2732
Payne315 West 6th Street, Suite 202Stillwater, OK  74074(405) 747-8310
PittsburgPO Box 3304McAlester, OK  74502(918) 423-6865
Pontotoc301 S. BroadwayAda, OK  74820(918) 423-6865
Pottawatomie325 North BroadwayShawnee, OK  74802(405)273-8222
Pushmataha302 Southwest B StreetAntlers, OK  74523(580) 298-3626
Roger MillsPO Box 708Cheyenne, OK  73628(580) 497-3395
Rogers200 S. Lynn Riggs Blvd.Claremore, OK  74017(918) 923-4796
SeminolePO Box 1180Wewoka, OK  74884(405) 257-2501
Sequoyah120 East Chickasaw StreetSallisaw, OK  74955(918) 775-4516
Stephens101 South 11th Street, Suite 203Duncan, OK  73533(580) 255-0977
TexasPO Box 197Guymon, OK  73942(580) 338-3233
TillmanPO Box 992Frederick, OK  73542(580) 335-3421
Tulsa500 South Denver, 2nd FloorTulsa, OK  74103918-596-5801
WagonerPO Box 156Wagoner, OK  74477918-485-2216
Washington420 South Johnstone, Suite 100Bartlesville, OK  74003(918) 337-2840
WashitaPO Box 380Cordell, OK  73632(580) 832-3548
WoodsPO Box 386Alva, OK  73717(580) 327-0942
Woodward1600 Main Street, Suite 8Woodward, OK 73801580-256-3625

Mom or Dad Signed a Transfer on Death Deed, How Does This Work?

 

First Question:  If all the persons signing the Transfer on Deed are now deceased keep reading.  If not Click Here

You have only 9 months after the last signor died to file an acceptance affidavit.  If you don’t complete the affidavit and file it within that time, then the normal probate rules apply.  Luckily, the form is fairly easy to complete and you will need just three things:

Do I pay taxes to make the transfer?

  Oklahoma does not have an Estate or Inheritance Tax. Federal Estate taxes for someone who died in 2018 don’t apply unless the total estate was more than $11 Million.  This does not trigger income tax if you are inheriting from a family member.  There are not filing taxes just a small filing fee.  Real estate does have an annual property tax.

What if there is a lien or mortgage, will I become liable for that?

  An existing lien or mortgage will continue on the property but you will not become personally responsible for it.  If you sell the property the lien holder will get paid from the proceeds.  You can also pay off the lien.

Things you need to claim property under a Transfer on Death Deed:

  1. A copy of the Transfer on Death Deed.  You do not have to have the original because you only need it to obtain the following information:

    1. The date it was signed;

    2. The date it was filed with the county clerk;

    3. The Book and Page number that the county clerk assigned to it; and

    4. The legal description of the property.

  2.  certified copy of the Death Certificate.  State of Oklahoma Death Certificate request.

  3. An Affidavit of Grantee Beneficiary 

  4. A check to County Clerk for Filing.  (usually $17-$21)

 

 

 

After the Affidavit of Grantee Beneficiary is completed it must be filed in the county where the property is located with a certified copy of the death certificate.

Searching for Oklahoma Land Records for Probate, Quiet Title or Research?

Click Here to Search Counties

 

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