9th May 2014
I recently published my first “Legal Guide” on the legal website www.avvo.com. You can check it out here. It is titled “Three Documents From the Home State Necessary For an Oklahoma Ancillary Probate.”
Do not let an unusual legal word or two completely glaze your eyes over: it is a common problem that many families face and a topic of great interest on this blog and in emails and calls to my office.
The basic situation occurs when someone dies a resident of one state owning property in their home state and another state. This is very easy to do in the Oklahoma Panhandle, where I live and practice law, as Texas, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico all border parts of the Oklahoma Panhandle. Therefore, it is easy for a farm, ranch, or business in this area to spread into multiple states. It is also common for people to live in any number of the 50 U.S. states, or even in other countries, and continue to hold interests in farm land, minerals (such as oil and gas), and other property in Oklahoma – often family property passed down through the years.
If a property owner dies owning property in their home state, a probate or other legal action will generally be required to finalize their affairs and pass on their property to their loved ones in the home state. If they also owned property in Oklahoma, there will often be another action required in Oklahoma.
The question is whether it can be an abbreviated “ancillary” probate in Oklahoma, or whether another legal path will be required. Under Oklahoma law, this generally depends on whether the Oklahoma attorney can obtain three required documents from the home state, sometimes called the domiciliary estate. This is the reason for the title of the article I posted on Avvo. It is also a topic of prior posts on this blog, and you can read more: here, here, and here.
This blog contains general information and the opinions of the author – not legal advice; you should seek the advice of competent counsel (attorney/lawyer) when considering any legal issues.