What a surviving spouse gets under Oklahoma law

November 25, 2011

In an Oklahoma statute that is equal parts interesting and antiquated, the surviving spouse is entitled to get all of the following items after death of the first spouse:

1. All family pictures.

2. A pew or other sitting in any house of worship.

3. A lot or lots in any burial ground.

4. The family Bible and all school books used by the family, and all other books used as part of the family library, not exceeding in value of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).

5. All wearing apparel and clothing of the decedent and his family.

6. The provisions for the family necessary for one (1) year’s supply, either provided or growing, or both; and fuel necessary for one (1) year.

7. All household and kitchen furniture, including stoves, beds, bedsteads and bedding.

These are not the only things the surviving spouse is entitled to, but some of the items that the Oklahoma Legislature considered important.

Source: Title 58, Section 311.

Oklahoma Estate Planning

Shawn Roberts

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I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. I tend to focus on estate planning and business issues. I make a living as an attorney working for Resolution Legal Group in Oklahoma City. I am husband to Amy and the father of Sam and David. We live exactly in the path where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."

2 responses to What a surviving spouse gets under Oklahoma law

  1. Sandra Lynn Pulley March 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    In Oklahoma, when a surviving spouse is a “second” spouse who signed an antenuptual agreement, AND when the surviving spouse and the “now deceased” spouse were still both living, the couple had been separated and living in completely separate households for more than six years at the time of the deceased person’s death, is the surviving spouse truly entitled to move BACK into the home (house) if the deceased’s heirs (his children) are the legal owners of the property and house? FYI, the surviving spouse was never an owner of the house/property, as it belonged wholly to the now deceased spouse. The Oklahoma statute is clearly antiquated and was written at a time when people did not marry and divorce or separate as is so common these days. Has this statute been updated EVER, and what needs to happen for it to become more current and in keeping with the times?

    • Sandra,

      Thank you for reading the article and the comment. While I can’t give you specific legal advice based on your comment, I can say that the right to stay in (or move back into) the house is based on the house being the marital homestead.

      If there is a prenuptial agreement and the home is not owned by either spouse, it seem questionable whether the surviving spouse could move back in.

      As for the statute (58 O.S. sec. 311), it was last updated in 1953 and your right, it could probably use a bit of refresh.