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Small Estate Affidavit

California Small Estate Affidavit

  • May be used to settle estates valued at less than $100,000 after at least 40 days have passed from time of death.
  • No administrative or legal proceeds are pending or have been conducted involving the estate.

Small estates, defined as those with a total value of less than $100,000, may be settled in California without going through the formal probate process.

At Howard Law, we understand the death of a loved one is often a stressful and confusing time. And we know the prospect of dealing with a loved one's estate can be intimidating. Our Los Angeles estate attorneys advise anyone settling an estate to consult with an experienced attorney and we will assist you in properly settling the estate of a loved one in an economical and hassle-free manner.

Seeking the guidance of an experienced probate attorney can often help you avoid common pitfalls, including questions about fair-valuation of property; a proper inventory and valuation of estate assets; questions or challenges involving beneficiaries or heirs; and refusal of custodian to release property.

Many institutions - especially when securities, cash, stocks or other liquid assets are involved - may require a notarized affidavit. One affidavit may be used for several assets being transferred, or a separate affidavit can be used for each asset. Additionally, all beneficiaries must sign a single affidavit in cases involving more than one heir. The Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property must be accompanied by a certified copy of the death certificate; evidence of the decedent's ownership of the property; proof of the identity of the person signing the affidavit; and an inventory of all assets owned by the decedent in California.

Insurance and retirement proceeds must be included in determining whether or not an estate exceeds the $100,000 small-estate threshold. Excluded items include automobiles, trailers and other non-motor homes like mobile homes; unpaid wages or benefits up to $5,000; joint tenancy interests, including property passing outright to surviving spouses; multiple-party accounts to the extent that the funds pass directly to a surviving party, including a spouse; property held in a living trust.

The Los Angeles estate lawyers at Howard Law represent clients dealing with estate issues in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, including Anaheim, Riverside and Santa Ana. Call today for a confidential consultation to discuss your case.

CALIFORNIA SMALL ESTATE AFFIDAVIT - Call (800) 872-5925 - Howard Law