A parent, spouse or relative died and they owned or oil & gas mineral rights in Oklahoma:
Has one of these happened to you?
-An investor wants to buy minerals owned by a family member who has died.
-An oil company wants to lease minerals that were in your mother or father’s name.
-Your relative was receiving royalty payments but won’t pay you until there is a probate.
No Need to Appear in Court
Most probate cases can be handled without the need of any appearance by a relative in court. The attorney can handle such appearances.
Oklahoma has a several stream-lined ways to handle these issues. Here are a couple of ways to address the situation:
A Summary Administration is slightly different from an Ancillary Probate. It is available in three situations
- The person has been dead more than five years;
- The total value of the estate (property owned by the decedent) is $200,000 or less; or
- The person was not an Oklahoma resident & there was not a probate anywhere else.
Generally, the process involves filing a petition (if there was a Will enclosing a copy), sending notice to all heirs and creditors. An Administrator, usually a family, member is appointed. If there are no issues or claims the process can usually be concluded within 90 days. At that point the property will be transferred or distributed to the family members according to the Will or if there is no Will by Oklahoma’s intestacy statutes. Most attorney handle Ancillary probates on a flat fee basis.
This procedure is relatively quick. This process is used if the deceased person has had a probate in a state other than Oklahoma. For example, if there was a probate in California, that court would not have the power to transfer or re-title property in Oklahoma. The process involves filing copies of those pleading in Oklahoma, providing notice to all heirs, creditors and persons named in the will. If there is no objection the matter can often be concluded within two months. Most attorney handle Ancillary probates on a flat fee basis.
What does an Ancillary Probate cost?
The answer varies but often a probate can be done on a flat fee basis.
Affidavit of Heirship
Occasionally, an Affidavit of Heirship will be sufficient for a company to sign a lease with you or to release payments. However, this will not vest you with ownership of the property for up to ten years. If there are multiple individuals entitled to inherit or creditors claims this may not be the best approach.
Sometimes the only option is to proceed with a standard probate.