Oklahoma permits the distribution of a small estate without probate. Banks, credit unions and
savings and loan associations are permitted under Oklahoma statutory law to pay out bank
accounts under Five-thousand Dollars upon affidavit. The account must be in the name of a sole
individual and not have a payable-in-death beneficiary named. An original certified death
certificate must be presented along with an affidavit. The affidavit must establish the time and
place of death and residence of the decedent. The affidavit must state that the decedent did not
leave a will. The affidavit must set out the names of the heirs of the decedent. The affidavit must
be signed and sworn to by at least one of the known heirs of the decedent. This affidavit is
authorized by 6 OS§906.

Oklahoma permits the distribution of tangible personal property (property other than money or
land) or an instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock, chose in action, or stock brand belonging to the decedent upon the presentment of an affidavit. Any person indebted to the decedent is authorized to accept the affidavit and make the distribution. Anyone who is a successor to the decedent may sign the affidavit. The affidavit must state (1) the fair market value of property located in this state owned by the decedent and subject to disposition by will or intestate succession at the time of the decedent’s death, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed Twenty Thousand Dollars; (2) No application or petition for appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted in any jurisdiction; (3) Each claiming successor is entitled to payment or delivery of the property in the respective proportions set forth in the affidavit; and All taxes and debts of the decedent’s estate have been paid or otherwise provided for or are barred by the statute of limitations. As in the first affidavit mentioned, you must present an original certified death certificate. This form of affidavit is authorized by 58 OS§393.

The first affidavit mentioned would be useful for an account at a bank which does not exceed a $5,000 balance. The second affidavit would be useful for the transfer of household contents, a vehicle, a stock brokerage account or the transfer of private or public corporate stock which does not exceed $20,000.


Brent Coldiron Attorney
1800 E. Memorial Road Suite 106 Oklahoma City, OK 73131 US
Phone: (405) 478-5655 Website:
By appointment at 2801 Parklawn Drive, Suite 503, Midwest City (405), telephone (405) 737-2244. Fax: (405) 478-5616.

The foregoing is not intended as legal advice. You should always seek the advice of an attorney for the particular application of the law to your fact situation. It can be substantially different than the general rules of law illustrated herein.If you have questions you may call our office to schedule your free conference. Brent D. Coldiron is a frequent speaker to non-profit civic and church groups on legal topics of interest. If your group would benefit from such a presentation please do not hesitate to notify our office.

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