Affidavit of Small Estate Form

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A Small Estate Affidavit form is used to help simplify the probate process. In most states, this document can be used if the value of the estate is worth less than $150,000. Generally, the surviving spouse or an adult child of the decedent would complete this form and have it notarized before providing it to the probate court in the county where the decedent lived at the time of death. If accepted by the probate court, the decedent's entire estate is transferred to the surviving spouse or the adult child or children who filed the form. In states with community property, the process may be a little bit different if there is both a surviving spouse and at least one adult child.

What is a small estate affidavit?

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.

Small estate affidavit vs affidavit of heirship

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.

When to use a small estate affidavit

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.

How does a small estate affidavit work?

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:

  • Waiting for the minimum time period - generally ranges from 15 to 60 days
  • Calculating the net worth of the deceased - each state has a maximum net worth that will qualify to use the affidavit
  • Gather important documents - must obtain a death certificate and title of any property that was owned by the deceased
  • Complete the form - use the form correct form for your state, be sure to include an itemized list of the property belonging to the deceased, make sure you follow the correct signing requirements (signing in front of a witness or notary)
  • Contact family members - all heirs should be notified of the filing, notify them by certified mail with return receipt
  • File with the probate clerk’s office - you will have to pay a filing fee and all of the correct documents
  • Acceptance or rejection - the clerk will take between 5 and 15 days to process your filing, if your affidavit is accepted, the property and assets will be transferred

State resources

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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Sample Affidavit of Small Estate


Sample Affidavit of Small Estate

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