Small estate affidavits are legal documents that allow the property to be transferred from a will without it going through probate. These affidavits can be an advantage for beneficiaries in situations where an estate is too small to go through probate. The forms typically list the involved parties, the property in question, and other relevant information. Affidavits are sent to the entity with possession of the property and work like an order requiring the holder to release the item.
Usage of Small Estate Affidavits
A small estate affidavit can be used when the deceased’s estate is small enough to avoid probate. In most jurisdictions, there’s a maximum amount for small estates. For example, most areas have a cap of $150,000, and any estate above that amount must go through the probate process.
When Affidavits May Not be Used
In most areas, a small estate affidavit cannot be utilized if probate proceedings have already begun, or if the estate is over the limit. If a real estate transfer is involved the affidavit may not be used, but some jurisdictions now offer special real estate transfer affidavits. The affidavit must be clearly written, and it typically requires the help of an Estate Planning Attorney in Fort Worth TX.
Do Planners Need Legal Help to Create a Small Estate Affidavit?
In many jurisdictions, small estate affidavits are becoming more common. Moreover, the scope of property that may be transferred through such an affidavit is growing. Those in the planning process should consider hiring an estate planning attorney if they need assistance creating, reviewing or implementing these affidavits. If legal issues arise concerning a small estate affidavit, such as a property holder’s refusal to relinquish the item, the client may wish to hire an Estate Planning Attorney in Fort Worth TX for representation if the case must go to court.
The conventional probate process can be long, drawn-out and expensive, but it isn’t always necessary for smaller estates.