How Do I Do a Small Probate Affidavit?

A small probate affidavit is a fast and inexpensive method of probating an estate. Instead of petitioning the court for a probate and drafting numerous pleadings and notices, an executor may simply mail notice to heirs then sign an affidavit and he or she can then administer the estate.

As the name suggests, the estate must be “small.” This means under $100,000.00 and consisting of only personal property. Personal property can be bank accounts, furniture, cars, etc. If real property is involved (house or a land) then you cannot use the small probate affidavit.

To complete a small probate affidavit you must first wait forty days after the death of the decedent. Ten days before filing the affidavit, the claiming successor, the person signing the affidavit, must give written notice to all other successors of the decedent. Then the claiming successor, must complete the affidavit that includes:

• The claiming successor’s name and address
• That the claiming successor is a “successor” as defined in RCW 11.62.005
• That the decedent was a resident of Washington State
• That the estate does not exceed $100,000.00
• That forty days have elapsed since the death of the decedent
• That no application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending
• That all the debts of the decedent have been paid
• A description and statement of the personal property
• That notice has been given to other successors
• That the calming successor is entitled to fully payment or delivery of the property claimed

The claiming successor must then mail a copy of the affidavit along with the decedent’s social security number to the Washington Department of Social and Health Service, Office of Financial Recovery. The successor must pay all known debts out of the estate.