Many people die without wills, and their property is valued at less than $100,000. Someone who would inherit the property (a distributee) could file an “affidavit of a small estate” so that they could distribute the property without having to go through probate.
To use the affidavit method, you have to meet these qualifications:
There may be no pending request for a personal representative or one that has been granted;
At least forty-five (45) days have passed since the person died;
ALL property must we worth less than $100,000, except that
There may be values that can be excluded from the total when determining the value of the estate, such as allowances for minor children by law.
If the estate qualifies, these are the basic steps:
A Distributee (there could be more than one) files an affidavit in the probate clerk’s office. The affidavit must state that:
There are no unpaid claims or demands;
DHS provided no benefits or that it was reimbursed pursuant to state and federal law;
A list of the personal property, including descriptions and values;
Legal description and value of any real property;
Names and addresses of everyone who has possession of the real property;
Names and addresses of anyone who has possession or resides in the real property; and
Names, addresses, and relationships of anyone who will receive the property.
The clerk will file and certify the affidavit. It costs $25.00 to file the affidavit, and $5.00 for each certified copy.
If anyone owes money, has possession of the property, or is an agent of any interest, debt, property, or right of the decedent, they should get a certified copy of the affidavit.
If the estate includes real property, the Distributee(s) MUST publish a notice of the death and affidavit within thirty (30) days of filing the affidavit.
Anyone who has a claim to or against the estate has three (3) months from the first date of publication to make their claim, or lose that chance forever.
The small estate will not need approval from a judge. It is a fairly simple process, but must be followed exactly.
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