Summary Administration for Estates in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma summary administration offers an expedited process settling estates, which is very useful for oil and gas mineral rights owners.

In Oklahoma, summary administration offers an expedited process for settling estates, which is particularly valuable when dealing with oil and gas mineral rights. This streamlined method can be a favorable alternative to full probate, providing significant advantages in terms of both time and cost.

When is Summary Administration Applicable?

Summary administration in Oklahoma is applicable under specific conditions:

  1. Value of Estate: If the value of the estate, excluding exempt property, does not exceed $200,000.
  2. Time Since Death: If the decedent has been deceased for over five years.
  3. Non-Resident Decedents: If the decedent was not an Oklahoma resident but owned property in the state.
  4. Simplified Process: If a simplified process is deemed appropriate for other reasons, such as the presence of a small number of heirs or uncomplicated assets.

How to Initiate Summary Administration

The process of initiating summary administration involves several key steps:

  1. Filing a Petition: The executor or personal representative must file a petition with the appropriate Oklahoma district court. This petition includes details about the decedent, the value and nature of the estate, and the names of the heirs or beneficiaries.
  2. Notice to Heirs and Creditors: Notice must be given to all known heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors. This notice period allows them to contest the proceedings if necessary.
  3. Hearing and Order: A court hearing will be scheduled, during which the judge reviews the petition and any objections. If approved, the court will issue an order for summary administration.

Benefits of Summary Administration

Summary administration offers several benefits over full probate:

  1. Speed: The process is typically faster, often concluding within a few months, compared to full probate, which can take a year or more.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Lower court fees and reduced legal expenses make this a more economical choice.
  3. Simplicity: The procedural requirements are less onerous, with fewer formalities and less paperwork.

Non-Resident Decedents and Mineral Rights

For non-resident decedents who owned oil and gas mineral rights in Oklahoma, summary administration can still be pursued even if their will was not probated in their home state. The process involves several additional considerations:

  1. Filing in Oklahoma: The executor must file the decedent’s will along with the summary administration petition in Oklahoma. The court will recognize the will and proceed with the administration of the estate’s Oklahoma assets.
  2. Jurisdiction: Oklahoma courts have jurisdiction over the decedent’s property within the state, ensuring that mineral rights and other assets are appropriately managed.
  3. Notification Requirements: Heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors both in Oklahoma and the decedent’s home state must be notified, ensuring transparency and the opportunity to contest.


Summary administration is a valuable tool for efficiently handling estates in Oklahoma, especially when dealing with oil and gas mineral rights. It provides a streamlined, cost-effective alternative to full probate, making it an attractive option for executors and beneficiaries alike. For non-resident decedents, Oklahoma’s provisions ensure that their in-state assets are administered effectively, even if their will was not probated elsewhere. Understanding these processes and their benefits can significantly ease the burden on those managing the decedent’s estate.


This article is not intended to provide legal advice and is for informational purposes only. Individuals should seek legal counsel to obtain personalized guidance and ensure compliance with applicable laws before proceeding with any actions related to summary administration or probate matters.

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