California Small Estate Affidavit

In our prior posts, we discussed why Avoiding Probate is an excellent idea.

We also discussed how certain Assets Not Subject to Probate can avoid the Probate process, in certain circumstances.

One of the easiest ways to Avoid Probate, if your Estate qualifies, is to use the California Small Estate Affidavit procedure.  Assets are not subject to probate if they qualify.

California Probate Code Section 13100 et seq. sets forth the basic requirements to use this process:

  • The gross value of the Estate for which you are trying to use this Affidavit procedure is less than $150,000.
  • The Decedent has been deceased for at least forty (40) days
  • The successor to the Decedent may take possession of certain property without Probate, if he or she completes an Affidavit pursuant to California Probate Code Section 13101, in which they make certain declarations as required by law

Generally, the California Small Estate Affidavit procedure is not used in place of a Living Trust.

It is normally used when one or more small assets of the Estate are inadvertently left out of the Trust, and a Beneficiary or Heir (a successor to the Decedent) wishes to take possession of the asset without Probate.

However, the California Small Estate Affidavit procedure will not work if there is a Probate case going on simultaneously.

One of the requirements of the Small Estate Affidavit is to affirm that “no proceeding is now being or has been conducted in California for administration of the decedent’s estate.”

We invite you to Contact Our Firm to discuss your family’s estate planning needs.