Ancillary Probate of Oil and Gas Interests in Oklahoma
In the context of estates, when a person dies, a probate or estate proceeding is often commenced in the county in the state where the decedent resided at the time of his or her death. This proceeding is often referred to as the “domiciliary probate.”
However, when a non-resident decedent dies leaving oil and gas interests in Oklahoma, a second type of proceeding is required in order to properly obtain legal title to the oil and gas interests. This second type of proceeding is often referred to as “ancillary probate” and must be commenced in the state and county where the oil and gas interest is located.
Oklahoma has an ancillary statute at 58 Okla. Stat. §677. Under this section, an ancillary proceeding may be commenced in Oklahoma if the following three documents are available from the decedent’s domiciliary probate:
• A certified copy of the will.
• A certified copy of the order admitting the will to probate.
• A certified copy of the order distributing the estate.
This procedure is also available if a person died without a will by filing certified copies of the order appointing the personal representative and the order distributing the estate.
If any of the documents above cannot be obtained from the domiciliary probate, then an ancillary proceeding is not available under §677. However, there may be other options available in Oklahoma such as a summary administration.
If you have a loved one who has passed away, owning oil and gas interests in Oklahoma, please call 405-443-5100, 405-943-6650 ext. 324 or fill out the form on the contact page for a free consultation to determine if your case meets the requirements for an ancillary proceeding.