Administration of Small Estates
When personal property of a Decedent is worth less a certain threshold that requires formal Probate, it may be administered outside of Probate Court through a process called “Small Estate Affidavit” or “Affidavit for Collection.” Certain rules and time limitations, including creditor protection rules, apply.
If you need assistance with understanding the nuances of the small estates affidavit procedure, or are unsure whether an Estate meets the qualifications for Small Estate Administration or full-blown Probate, call the Law Offices of Maria N. Jonsson, PC so we cab assess the case and guide you with the applicable administration.
Requirements for Small Estate Affidavit in California
The Small Estate Affidavit procedure can only be utilized for personal property, and it cannot be utilized to transfer real property. Administration of real property left behind by a deceased individual(s) will always need to go through some form of Probate in the Superior Court of the County where the real property is located.
For personal property (bank accounts, etc.), a Small Estate Affidavit cannot be signed any earlier than 40 days following the death of the owner. Moreover, the person signing the Affidavit must swear under penalty of perjury that there are no known creditors of the Estate. If in fact there ARE creditors of the Estate, the signer of a Small Estate Affidavit can be liable for treble damages for collecting property and not notifying the decedent's creditors.
Call us to learn more about the Creditors' statute of limitations in California as related to Small Estate Administration and to Probate.
When you schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Maria N. Jonsson, PC, we can assess your case, help you understand your options, and develop a practical solution for the estate administration needs.