Small Estate Affidavit Form PDF

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Small Estate Affidavit

A Small Estate Affidavit is a legal document that contains a sworn statement allowing someone to legally claim the assets of someone who has died.

Small Estate Affidavits are used to avoid what’s known as the probate process, which can be lengthy and costly.

An estate is only considered “small” if the deceased’s assets are valued below a certain amount, differing from state to state.

In addition, some states only allow the use of a Small Estate Affidavit if the person died without a will, so be sure you check your state’s requirements below before you begin creating your affidavit.

How a Small Estate Affidavit Works

Wait for the State-Required Time Period

Every state requires that the family members wait a specified number of days before the small estate may be filed.

Ranging from 15 to 60 days, the heirs can use this time to gather an itemized list of the decedent’s assets and property.

If the state does not have specific laws, then contact the probate court in the jurisdiction where the decedent died.

Calculate the Estate’s Value

Obtain an itemized list of the decedent’s properties and assets, as well as any existing liens or debts.

Gather the Required Documents

The death certificate must be obtained (contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics or equivalent office) along with the title of all property owned by the decedent.

For example, if a vehicle was owned by the decedent, the Certificate of Title will be required.

Complete the Small Estate Affidavit

It is best to use the state-specKific version as this will give the petitioner the best chance of it being accepted by the probate court clerk’s office.

When completing, be sure to include an itemized list of all the assets and property of the decedent that will be transferred to the heirs.

When signing, the petitioner will be required to either sign the form in front of a notary public, witnesses, or both. The bottom of the small estate should have the signing requirements listed.

Contact Family Members (Heirs)

All heirs, family members, or anyone who could be considered entitled to the property must be made aware of the small estate filing. Therefore, the petitioner must contact them via certified mail with a return receipt and keep the receipts as proof that the individuals have been notified.

File with the Probate Office

The petitioner should attach all documents to the small estate affidavit along with the filing fee.

If accepted, the clerk will take approximately five to 15 days to process and accept or reject the filing.

If accepted, the property and assets will be transferred and the process is complete.

Probate is a legal procedure intended to make sure the bills of a deceased individual (“decedent”) have been paid, and the people entitled to inherit their assets — whether by will (“testate”) or without a last will and testament (“intestate”) — receive those assets.

The probate procedure can be time-consuming and involves expenses for the court and the executor of the estate.

These costs are deducted from the decedent’s assets, reducing what’s available to give to surviving heirs.

It’s important to know exactly what probate is, and how the entire process affects small estates.

Those with larger estates typically use a revocable living trust to manage their sizable assets.

Are small estates the same across the country?

No, state law varies on what qualifies as a “small estate.” 

The total amount of the deceased’s assets and the property being distributed must not exceed around $5,000 – $175,000.

Sometimes, items (such as real estate or “real property”) aren’t included in that calculation, which is determined on a state-by-state basis.

To streamline the probate procedure and reduce the costs for estates that don’t exceed the threshold, each state has guidelines for processing a “small estate” with less court involvement, time, and money. A Small Estate Affidavit form may be used in those situations.

State Requirements

StateMaximum Amounts ($)Time to Wait After Decedent’s DeathSigning Requirements
 Alabama$32,047 (figure adjusted for inflation)30 daysNo Statute*
 Alaska$100,000 for vehicles only; $50,000 for other personal property30 daysNo Statute*
 Arizona$75,000 for tangible personal property; $100,000 for real property30 daysNo Statute*
 Arkansas$100,00045 daysLocal Probate Court Clerk (See List)
 California$184,50040 daysNotary Public
 Colorado$70,00010 daysNotary Public
 Connecticut$40,000No StatuteNo Statute
 Delaware$30,00030 daysNo Statute, but Death Certificate must be notarized
 Florida$75,000No StatuteNo Statute*
 GeorgiaNone; $15,000 only when claiming funds in a bank accountNo StatuteNotary Public
 Hawaii$100,000 (excluding motor vehicles)No StatuteNotary Public
 Idaho$100,00030 daysNotary Public
 Illinois$100,000No StatuteNotary Public
 Indiana$100,00045 daysNotary Public
 Iowa$50,00040 daysNotary Public
 Kansas$40,000No StatuteNotary Public
 Kentucky$30,000No StatuteNotary Public or Judge/Clerk of the District Court
 Louisiana$125,00090 Days (For Immovable Property Only)Notary Public
 Maine$40,00030 daysNotary Public
 Maryland$50,000; $100,000 for surviving spouses filing as sole legateeNo StatuteNo Statute
 Massachusetts$25,000 (excluding the value of one vehicle)30 daysNotary Public
 Michigan$24,000 (figure adjusted for inflation)28 daysNotary Public
 Minnesota$75,00030 daysNotary Public
 Mississippi$75,00030 daysNotary Public
 Missouri$40,00030 daysNotary Public
 Montana$50,00030 daysNotary Public
 Nebraska$50,00030 daysNotary Public
 Nevada$100,000 for spouse; $25,000 for other claimants40 daysNo Statute*
 New HampshireN/AN/AN/A
 New Jersey$50,000 for spouses, $20,000 for non-spousal heirsNo StatuteNotary Public
 New Mexico$50,00030 daysNotary Public
 New York$50,000No StatuteNotary Public
 North Carolina$20,000 non-spousal heirs; $30,000 for surviving spouses who are sole heirs30 daysNotary Public or Court Clerk
 North Dakota$50,00030 daysNotary Public or Court Clerk
 Ohio$100,000 for spouse, $35,000 for other claimantsNo StatuteProbate Judge (once approved)
 Oklahoma$50,00010 daysNotary Public
 Oregon$275,000 ($75,000 for personal property; $200,000 for real property)30 daysNotary Public
 Pennsylvania$50,000No StatuteNotary Public andPA Register of Wills Deputy
 Rhode Island$15,00030 daysNotary Public and
Probate Judge / Probate Clerk
 South Carolina$25,00030 daysNotary Public andProbate Judge
 South Dakota$100,000 for personal property; $50,000 for real property30 daysNotary Public
 Tennessee$50,00045 daysNotary Public or Deputy Clerk
 Texas$75,00030 daysNotary Public and Two (2) Disinterested Witnesses
 Utah$100,00030 daysNotary Public
 Vermont$45,000No StatuteNotary Public
 Virginia$50,00060 daysNotary Public
 Washington$100,00040 daysNotary Public
 Washington D.C.$40,000No StatuteLegal Branch of Probate Division
 West Virginia$100,000 for interests in real estate; $50,000 for personal property30 days (if decedent died testate); 60 days (if intestate)Notary Public
 Wisconsin$50,000No StatuteNotary Public
 Wyoming$200,00030 daysNotary Public
Language English
No. of Pages4
PDF Size1 MB
CategoryLegal Form

Form Of Small Estate Affidavit PDF Free Download

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