Adults in Edmond are advised to start the estate planning process early on in their lives. A central piece of any estate plan is one’s will. In it, a person stipulates how (and to whom) they want their assets dispersed. Yet what happens if one dies without a will?
Such a situation is certainly not out of the realm of possibility (indeed, information compiled by Gallup shows that only 44 percent of American adults actually have a will). If one does not prepare a will, the state has laws that determine how their estates are dispersed to their heirs.
According to Section 84.213.B of Oklahoma’s Citationized Statutes, the surviving spouse of one who dies intestate (without a will) is entitled to the following amount of their estate:
- The entire estate if there are no surviving descendants
- One-half of the estate if there are descendants who are also the descendants of the spouse
- One-half of both the couple’s marital and separate property if one or more of the descendants of the decedent are not also the descendants of the spouse
- All of the couple’s marital property plus one-third of the estate if the decedent has no descendants but is survived by their parents or siblings
If one is preceded in death by their spouse, their intestate estate would be distributed to their descendants, their parents, their siblings, their grandparents and their descendants (split equally between the decedent’s paternal and maternal sides), and finally their next of kin (in that order). If no one who would be entitled to a portion of an intestate estate survives a decedent, then their estate passes to the state to be used to help financially support the school system.