If someone dies, their property doesn’t immediately pass to their family members. It has to go through probate court first. Every state has its own rules regarding estate administration and probate proceedings.
In Oklahoma, individuals who die with very little property can expect their assets to pass to their loved ones quickly. Small estates worth less than $50,000 may not even require official probate oversight during administration. However, estates worth more than $50,000, including most estates with real estate included, will require probate court oversight.
How long does the probate process typically take in Oklahoma? Most people have heard a horror story about a family stuck in probate limbo for years, but that kind of situation is uncommon. Probate in Oklahoma can be a straightforward process if there aren’t any contested assets or challenges against the estate plan.
The executor must notify creditors and file paperwork with the courts. They will have to handle numerous financial matters, ranging from filing taxes to settling accounts held by the deceased individual. After filing the necessary paperwork and repaying outstanding debts, the executor can then distribute the assets to the beneficiaries of the estate as outlined in the plan.
Without any challenges or litigation, it is often possible to complete the estate administration process in between four and six months. If there are challenges against the estate plan or assets that require liquidation to distribute their value among the beneficiaries, estate administration may take longer. Some estates may take 10 months or in rare cases even over a year to fully distribute all assets.
What might make probate proceedings last longer? A requirement to liquidate numerous assets may extend the length of probate proceedings. Bigger assets can take longer to get ready for sale and to transfer. The executor will typically need to prioritize obtaining a fair market value for estate assets over quickly selling them. Challenges against the estate plan or against the actions of the executor can significantly increase how long it takes to probate an estate. Interpersonal issues among family members and beneficiaries can sometimes lead to conflict that affects estate administration.
Being realistic about the timeline for probate proceedings can help both those serving as executor and those hoping to inherit property from the estate of a loved one.