By Solid Serenity Legal Solutions
If you lost a loved one recently, there is likely a mountain of tasks in front of you that you must take care of in the wake of their passing. If they died without a will or trust in place, there’s another thing to add onto the pile.
With everything else going on, including taking the necessary time for your own grieving, it can all seem overwhelming. Luckily when it comes to what your next step is to take care of their estate, you do not have to go it alone.
There are three different ways to settle an estate with assets not titled jointly, or without named beneficiaries. An experienced attorney in your corner can help lessen your stress and burden by eliminating your concerns over the legal process and allowing you to focus on grieving and caring for your family.
(1) Affidavit of Tangible Personal Property
The first way to transfer title is also the most straightforward. Your loved one qualifies for an Affidavit of Tangible Personal Property if they have less than $50,000 in assets not jointly held or with named beneficiaries and not real property. These affidavits must be signed by all living heirs. This first level of title transfer is the quickest and requires no time in court.
(2) Summary Administration
The second way to transfer title requires Court involvement, but is less complicated than a Traditional probate. This shorter process of probate, Summary Administration, applies in three different scenarios.
If your loved one has assets that are not jointly owned or with named beneficiaries that are less than $200,000 in total, then they qualify for this type of probate.
You can also use Summary Administration if your loved one died more than five years ago.
Finally, if your loved one lived out of state or already has had a probate completed out of state, then you can use a Summary Administration. The summary administration requires some time in court but is still a relatively quick process compared to Traditional Probate.
(3) Traditional Probate
All other probates will go through the traditional probate process. If your loved one does not qualify under either of the first two ways to transfer title, then their estate will fall under a traditional probate.
Specifically, if the estate has real property, is over $200,000 of assets not titled jointly or with named beneficiaries, the deceased died within the past five years, and they were a resident of Oklahoma and there hasn’t already been a probate done out of state, then they will go through a traditional probate. The process for the traditional probate is similar to that of the summary administration but requires more court time and takes longer to complete.
Creditors will receive more time to file claims and there will be an additional Court hearing for this type of probate. Whereas a Summary Administration can typically be completed in 2 to 3 months, a Traditional Probate takes at least 5 month to complete.
There are plenty of hard things to do and difficult decisions to make in the wake of a loved one’s death. With an experienced attorney and the proper information in front of you, settling the estate does not have to be one of them.