Small Estate Affidavit - Oklahoma
You may have heard about small estate affidavits. Many people, when attempting to transfer assets out of the estate of their deceased relatives, ask: What is a small estate affidavit? How can I use a small estate affidavit to transfer assets?
Below, I have published free small estate affidavit Oklahoma forms. You may use to these forms to transfer or collect various types of property. If you fill out these small estate affidavits, the affidavits will be legally effective under the small estate affidavit Oklahoma statute. First, here is a brief explanation on what a small estate affidavit is, and what it can do:
A small estate affidavit is a legal document, in which the heir of an estate swears that the estate is a small estate and that another person owes money to the estate, or is in control of property owned by the estate. If the heir gives the affidavit to the person who owes money to the estate or is in control of property the estate owns, the person receiving the affidavit must transfer the property to the heir. The heir will not have to go through probate to collect or transfer the property. If you do file a probate action, you will not be allowed to use a small estate affidavit to transfer or collect property.
You may use a small estate affidavit to do the following:
Collect a debt owed to the estate. Give the small estate affidavit to the debtor, and the debtor must pay you.
Collect personal property owned by the estate, if someone else has the property. Give the small estate affidavit to the person who holds the property, and the person must give you the property.
Transfer title to property owned by the estate to you, if a government agency has control over registered title. For example, if the decedent owned a motor vehicle, you can give the small estate affidavit to the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC), and the OTC will transfer title into your name.
Transfer stocks or securities owned by the estate, into your name.
Collect property held by the State Treasurer in the Oklahoma Unclaimed Property Fund.
You may use a small estate affidavit if:
The decedent died with a “small estate”. Oklahoma law defines a small estate as an estate in which the value of the estate property in Oklahoma, owned by the decedent and subject to disposition by will or intestate succession, minus liens and encumbrances, is less than $50,000.
You are the successor in interest to the decedent’s estate.
I realize that the above terms are complicated. For a further explanation of the definition of “small estate” and “successor in interest” click on my blog post, “What is Considered a ‘Small Estate’ in Oklahoma?”
You may only transfer and collect personal property by a small estate affidavit; you cannot transfer and collect real property (homes or land) by a small estate affidavit. To see how to transfer real property of a decedent, click here.
Below, here are small estate affidavits.
Warning: You should not use these without the advice of a lawyer. Any mistake you make can be very costly. The small estate affidavit Oklahoma statute says that if you submit and sign a false affidavit, you may be fined up to $3,000, and serve up to six months in jail. A court may also order you to pay restitution to the rightful beneficiary of the estate property.
To collect debts or transfer personal property of a small estate, choose the form below for the type of property you wish to collect or transfer:
Small Estate Affidavit Oklahoma Form -- To collect a debt owed to the estate:
Give the small estate affidavit to the debtor. Once the debtor receives the small estate affidavit, he is required to pay you the debt he owed to the estate. If he does not pay, you may file suit.
Small Estate Affidavit Oklahoma Form -- To collect personal property owned by the estate:
Small Estate Affidavit to Collect Personal Property (PDF)
Give the small estate affidavit to the person who has possession of the personal property. The person will be required to give you the property; if he does not, you may file suit.
Small Estate Affidavit Oklahoma Form -- To transfer title to an automobile owned by the estate:
To transfer an automobile owned by the estate, fill out a small estate affidavit on a form provided by the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC). The OTC has made this form publicly available; click here to download a copy of the form. Give this form to your local tag agent, or mail it to the headquarters of the OTC. The OTC is required to transfer title to the successor.
A small estate affidavit will only be effective to transfer an automobile, if the decedent had a will, and if the decedent did not file a transfer-on-death notice with the OTC. If the decedent died without a will, or if the decedent filed a transfer-on-death notice with OTC, click here to see how to proceed.
Small Estate Affidavit Oklahoma Form -- To transfer title to other types of personal property, where a public official has control over registered title:
If the decedent owned any other type of personal property, and a public official has control over the registered title, you can also transfer title by a small estate affidavit. Ask the official if his agency has a small affidavit form that they use; if the agency does not have such a form, use this small estate affidavit here:
Small Estate Affidavit to Collect Personal Property (PDF)
Give the small estate affidavit to the official, and he will be required to transfer title.
Small Estate Affidavit Oklahoma Form -- To transfer stocks or securities:
Small Estate Affidavit to Transfer Stocks or Securities (PDF)
Give the small estate affidavit to the transfer agent of the stocks or securities. The transfer agent will be required to transfer the stocks or securities to the name of the successor
To collect property held by the State Treasurer in the Oklahoma Unclaimed Property Fund
If the value of the property the State Treasurer holds is less than $10,000, you may collect the property by submitting the following affidavit to the State Treasurer:
State Treasurer Affidavit (PDF)
You may not use this affidavit if there has been a probate action filed, or if you are contemplating filing a probate action, of the decedent’s estate.
If the value of the property the State Treasurer holds is worth more than $5,000, you will have to submit a certified copy of the owner’s death certificate. You may obtain the owner’s death certificate from the Oklahoma State Department of Health here.
If the deceased owner of the property placed the property in a trust, you will also have to give the State Treasurer a copy of the trust document.
If the property held in the Unclaimed Property Fund is real property, you will need to go to court to quiet the title.
If the State Treasurer holds property worth more than $10,000, you will have to go to probate court to collect the property.
Take Advantage of the Small Estate Affidavit
The Oklahoma legislature has passed the small estate affidavit Oklahoma statute so that you won’t have to go through a lot of extra work to transfer a small amount of property. If your relative had a small estate, and you are the successor, take advantage of this opportunity. If you have any questions about small estate affidavits, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.