An affidavit of small estate document may be used to attest, under oath, that you are the owner of a small estate or property. This may be used after a relative passes away and did not leave a will. It could also be used by someone who has been named a personal representative of a small estate. This document is also known as the “Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property.”
A small estate is usually considered to be an estate that is worth less than $150,000. An affidavit for a small estate can be included in a deceased person's Last Will and Testament, or if they didn't create a will, a relative such as a spouse or adult child will complete it.
This affidavit should include a description of all items included in the small estate and a fair market value for each item. This includes any properties in the estate. Once signed, this affidavit becomes a legal oath, so double check the information before completing it.
A small estate and affidavit of heirship are both forms that are used when someone dies to speed up the probate process.
Small estate affidavit - transfers all property to an estate’s heirs without going through the probate process if the total estate value is under a certain threshold.
Affidavit of heirship - used to identify the estate’s heirs, sometimes attached to a small estate affidavit, if the estate involves real property, this is usually filed with the county recorder.
You can use this document to obtain control of property that was owned by the deceased and power of attorney. If you present the affidavit to a person, company, or bank that is holding estate property, they are legally required to turn it over to you.
This document is used to fast track an estate through probate court. It is a good way to resolve the estate of a person with a “small estate” who has died without a will. This affidavit cannot be used if an estate is already in probate court.
A small estate affidavit form is used by the family of someone who died to avoid a long probate process in courts.
The process requires:
Do I have the legal right to inherit the property?
You may only use the small estate affidavit if you have a legal right to inherit the property. The people with a legal right to inherit property include beneficiaries in a will or a heir if a person died without a will.
If the deceased died without a will, your state law will determine who is the legal heir by looking a the relationships of the people that are claiming to be heirs, the type of property, and any other issues. If you are not sure if you qualify to inherit a piece of property, you should consult legal counsel.
Using an affidavit to transfer personal property
State Maximum Amounts ($) Time to Wait After Decedent’s Death Laws
Alabama $25,000 30 days § 43-2-692
Alaska $100,000 for vehicles, $50,000 for non-vehicles 30 days § 13-16-680
Arizona $75,000 30 days § 14-3971
Arkansas $100,000 45 days § 28-42-101
California $150,000 40 days Sections 13000-13210
Colorado Twice the amount set forth in § 15-11-403, as adjusted by § 15-10-112 10 days C.R.S. 15-12-1201
Connecticut $40,000 No Statute Sec. 45a-273
Delaware $30,000 30 days § 2306
Florida $75,000 No Statute Chapter 735
Georgia $10,000 No Statute § 7-1-239
Hawaii $100,000 No Statute § 560:3-1201
Idaho $100,000 30 days § 15-3-1201
Illinois $100,000 No Statute 755 ILCS 5/9-8
Indiana $50,000 45 days § 29-1-8-1
Iowa $100,000 No Statute § 635.1 to § 635.13
Kansas $40,000 No Statute § 59-1507b
Kentucky $15,000 No Statute
§ 391.030 & § 395.455
Louisiana $125,000 No Statute CCP 3432
Maine $20,000 30 days § 3-1201
Maryland $100,000 for spouse, $50,000 for descendants No Statute § 5–601
Massachusetts $25,000 30 days § 3-1201
Michigan $15,000, as adjusted by § 700.1210 28 days § 700.3982
Minnesota $75,000 30 days § 524.3-1201
Mississippi $50,000 30 days § 91-7-322
Missouri $40,000 30 days § 473.097
Montana $50,000 30 days § 72-3-1101
Nebraska $50,000 30 days § 30-24,129
Nevada $100,000 for spouse, $25,000 for other claimants 40 days NRS 146.080
New Hampshire No Statutes No Statutes § 553:32
New Jersey $50,000 for spouse, $25,000 for heirs No Statute § 3B:10-3 to 3B:10-4
New Mexico $50,000 30 days § 45-3-1201
New York $30,000 No Statute § 1301 to § 1312
North Carolina $20,000 30 days § 28A-25-1
North Dakota $50,000 30 days Chapter 30.1-23
Ohio $100,000 for spouse, $35,000 for other claimants No Statute R.C. 2113.03
Oklahoma $50,000 10 days 58 OS § 393
Oregon $275,000 ($75,000 for personal property, $200,000 for real property) 30 days § 114.515
Pennsylvania $50,000 No Statute 20 § 3102
Rhode Island $15,000 30 days § 33-24-1
South Carolina $25,000 30 days § 62-3-1201
South Dakota $50,000 30 days § 29A-3-1201
Tennessee $50,000 45 days § GN 02315.081
Texas $75,000 30 days Sec. 205.001
Utah $100,000 30 days § 75-3-1201
Vermont $10,000 No Statute 14 V.S.A. § 1902
Virginia $50,000 60 days § 64.2-601 to § 64.2-605
Washington $100,000 40 days § 11.62.010
West Virginia $100,000 No Statute § 44-3A-5
Wisconsin $50,000 No Statute § 867.03
Wyoming $200,000 30 days § 2-1-201
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