What Is A Small Estate Affidavit?

Accession to the heirship is often accompanied by various disputes. The whole procedure can require a lot of time and effort. However, in order to simplify the whole process, an affidavit is often used under certain conditions. Let’s understand what this term is and how to use it.

 Small Estate Affidavit?


Affidavit Related To Inheritance – What Is It About?

It is a specially executed legal document, certified by a notary public, where a person confirms some fact under oath. This option is not available in some American states. It does not apply to property that is too expensive.

Thanks to the affidavit, you can declare your right to access the heirship and not wait for the statutory period after the death of the deceased. In this case, it will not be necessary to wait until the property will pass all the required procedures.

This service is not expensive as far as the price is concerned.

Free Small Estate Affidavit: How To Get It?

The affidavit can be used by family members of the deceased. Depending on the state, the rules for using this document vary. Even the name of the document may sound different.

The main dispute arises around the definition of small estate. For example, in some states, such property includes assets with a value of up to $10,000, while in others, terms are different.

Also, almost everywhere it is necessary to wait for a certain period of time after the death of the deceased before you can take advantage of the affidavit. This period may vary but generally equals two months.

Another important condition to use a small estate affidavit can be an absence of the will. The calculation of the value of the small estate includes the personal belongings of the deceased.

If there are debts associated with this real estate, they will also be taken into account and included in the value of the inheritance.

Usually, a printable small estate affidavit needs to be submitted to a bank, broker, government agency, or other holder of the assets. If it is approved, the assets will be transferred to the heir.

There is a modest fee charged for the execution of a small estate affidavit.

Who Can Benefit From The Procedure

Essentially, a small estate affidavit is an easy way to become the beneficiary of property owned by a deceased person.

It is important to remember that the option to file an affidavit is not available in some states, and the estate must cost less than the amount set by law.

Since there is almost always a public controversy and accounting involved in the transfer of real estate, the certified affidavit must be filed with a state agency or court. In many states, you cannot use an affidavit if litigation has already begun regarding the accession of an estate.

When a Small Estate Affidavit Can Be Used

This procedure is possible in the following cases:

  • the deceased did not leave a will;
  • the value of property left after death does not exceed the amount established by law;
  • the amount of inherited assets exceeds the debts;
  • the deceased property includes real estate only;
  • only the surviving spouse and minor children who were living with the decedent at the time of death may inherit the estate;
  • the small estate affidavit must be signed by all heirs or those who have the legal authority to sign the documents on their behalf.

Also, the list of the above requirements may vary slightly from state to state.

Small Estate Affidavit Form: Basic Points

When preparing this document, a free small estate affidavit must be filed, and the following items must be specified therein:

  • the value of the real estate;
  • title to the property;
  • completion of the required waiting period under the law;
  • the confirmation that a will has not been initiated;
  • death certificate;
  • documents verifying the identity of the heir and his or her rights to the inheritance.

Proof that the assets claimed by the applicant belonged to the deceased may also be required. A list of all heirs and their signed consent to the use of the affidavit must be attached.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Procedure

Small Estate Affidavit has a number of advantages:

  • It requires less cost compared to accessioning an inheritance by will;
  • less time is needed to administer the inherited property.

If a person dies without leaving a will, an affidavit can be particularly useful. However, it is worth understanding that this procedure is not practiced in some countries or states.

There are also a number of other limitations to consider:

  1. The one who signed the document automatically agrees to be liable if there is a debt associated with the inherited property and the creditor demands payment.
  2. Such an affidavit may not always be used to effect a real estate transfer. Submitting such a document to a bank or other asset owner results in a quick transfer of the property to the heir. But at the same time, the liability for any debts to the state increases.

The procedure may require additional time and costs. For example, it is the applicant’s responsibility to notify the other heirs and all interested parties. They must consent to the use of the simplified form of the administrative process.

How Can I Facilitate The Document Collection Process?

Since the affidavit is linked to the filing of documents, you can use the online tools offered by PandaDoc, which has templates for the required applications, including the small estate affidavit form.

By using it, you don’t have to put off time and start filing documents right away.

Also, the affidavit implies filing the consent of other heirs. To avoid wasting time on this, you can draft a document and submit it online for signature. If necessary, you can add other statements to it and send it all using this handy application.

This will greatly reduce time and make the exchange of documents most efficient.

You can also use the DocuSign program, which allows you to work with documents, and sign them and contains a lot of templates.

PandaDoc is considered to be a more convenient software solution in terms of use. You can work with it for free and send an unlimited number of documents. The software has an intuitive interface, it is really user-friendly.

Also, you can use ready-made templates, as well as create your own, taking into account the needs and goals.

 Small Estate Affidavit?


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