Many people think that only those with large estates must worry about estate planning. Because of this, some people with small estates do not have wills.
A small estate affidavit is a tool that heirs can use to avoid probate on certain small estates.
Which estates qualify for small estate administration?
Texas law allows heirs to file a small estate affidavit if the estate meets the qualifications:
- Deceased person did not have a will
- Date of death was at least 30 days ago
- No one applied for an appointment as a personal representative of the estate
- Value of the non-exempt probate estate is no more than $75,000
- Value of the non-exempt property is greater than the known debts of the estate
Exempt assets include a homestead and up to $100,000 in personal property for the use of the deceased person’s surviving spouse or minor children. Personal property may also be exempt when the heirs are children who are not married who live in the deceased person’s home or incapacitated adults.
If the person who died was not married, up to $50,000 in personal property may be exempt.
Which property does small estate administration apply to?
Small estate administration only applies to the deceased person’s probate estate. Therefore, estates that are worth more than $75,000 may still qualify if the value of the probate estate is worth $75,000 or less.
While this tool can help heirs whose loved ones died without a will. Those with small estates can make the process easier by implementing an estate plan before their deaths.