What is a Small Estate Affidavit?small estate

A Small Estate Affidavit is a legal document that can be used to transfer when a loved one died without a will.

When can you use a Small Estate Affidavit?

A Small Estate Affidavit may only be used when all of the following conditions are met:

  • The deceased person died without a Will;
  • At least 30 days have passed since the date of death;
  • No person has filed an application to be appointed as personal representative of the estate;
  • The value of the probate estate is $75,000 or less, not counting the value of the homestead and other exempt property; and
  • The total assets (not counting homestead and exempt property) exceed the total known debts of the estate (exclusive of debts secured by homestead and exempt property).

Why would someone use a Small Estate Affidavit?

A Small Estate Affidavit requires that all identities of the decedent’s heirs are formally identified, when accepted by the court and signed into an Order by a judge, a Small Estate Affidavit then can be used to formally collect the decedent’s assets such as bank accounts, life insurance policies, or retirement income that does not explicitly identify a beneficiary.  Additionally, a small estate affidavit can, in certain situations, also be used to transfer ownership of the decedent’s homestead.

Do I need an attorney to draft or file a Small Estate Affidavit?

No, you do not. Most Texas County Courts have instructions and forms on their website that will help you draft and file the appropriate paperwork.

What if I want to hire an attorney to help me draft the Small Estate Affidavit?

You can always hire an attorney to help you with this. If you tried to do this yourself, and find that it’s too complicated, unclear or just not something you want to be doing, we can help you draft a Small Estate Affidavit. Just call our office at 832.408.0505, we are here to help.

Have you created your estate plan, appointed someone to make financial or medical decisions for you? Do you have a Will? If not, you need to call us now. We can help you avoid the headache of the added expense of time and money in the case something happens to you in the even of incapacity or death. We will sit down with you to help you create an Estate Plan that will fit your desires, goals, and needs. Contact us today! We are here to help.