Dying in Oklahoma without a Will
It’s a topic most of us avoid thinking about, can you guess what it is? Dying. Regardless of your initial reaction to the word, do you know what happens to your estate if you die in Oklahoma without a will? Dying without a will, also called intestate, requires a court to determine who your legal heirs are and what percentage of your estate they will get pursuant to Oklahoma law.
For your heirs to receive their share of your estate, a probate will need to be opened for your estate. A probate is a court proceeding that is initiated by filing a petition, similar to initiating other lawsuits. Once a probate is on file, the court will appoint an individual to be your estate’s personal representative. The personal representative, once appointed, will act on your estate’s behalf and assist the court in determining who your legal heirs are, provide an inventory of your estate’s assets and ultimately ensure that your legal heirs receive their statutory share of your estate. The entire process, at a minimum, takes about four months and can sometimes take years.
So, how will your estate be distributed through Oklahoma intestacy laws? If you’re married with kids, your spouse will share your estate with your children. If you are married with no children, your spouse may be sharing your estate with your parents and siblings. Your spouse’s share may further be diluted in a blended family. Without getting bogged down into percentages, the bottom line is that an intestate distribution of your estate is probably not how you want your estate to be distributed.
Don’t let Oklahoma law dictate who gets your estate when you pass. Contact Carpenter Law Office and let our 40+ years of experience help you preserve your legacy and provide for your loved ones the way you want them to be provided for. Call us at 918-298-1001 or set up your free consultation today.