Small Estates Law and Legal Definition
Small estate administration is an alternative to a formal probate of an estate when the assets, liens, and encumbrances of the estate are under a certain statutory amount, which varies by jurisdiction. It is a faster, easier, alternative to the probate process, involving less paperwork and delay. It involves the use of a small-estate affidavit for estates ranging from $1,000 to $100,000, depending on state law. This approach is particularly advantageous where the bulk of the estate is in a trust and only an automobile or small bank account is in the name of the decedent at the time of death. No court administration is required.
The administration of the estate may be commenced a certain time after death, usually 30 days, and the appointment of a personal representative is made. An inventory and appraisalmust be filed with the Court. The personal representative, after giving any required notice to creditors, may immediately disburse and distribute the estate to the entitled persons. A verified statement to close and a full account in writing must be filed with the court and copied served on all distributees and creditors whose claims are neither paid nor barred.
Legal Definition list
Related Legal Terms
- Administration of Estates
- Affidavit of Small Estate
- Base Closure Area [Small Business Administration]
- Cash Match [Small Business Development Centers]
- Choosing a Small Business
- Closing Estates
- Cognizant Agency [Small Business Development Centers]
- Doctrine of Estates
- Dynamic Small Business Search
- Economically Disadvantaged Women‐Owned Small Business [EDWOSB]