Continuing the last blog within this three-part series, we will discuss proceeding with administration of the decedent’s estate using the Small Estate Affidavit.
Unless the decedent’s assets fall within the small estate exception, the administration process involves appointing a personal representative to administer or oversee the distribution of the decedent’s assets pursuant to his or her will. If the decedent died without a valid will, you may be able to bypass the formal estate administration process if the decedent’s estate is less than the threshold $50,000 mark. This limitation applies to nonexempt property. As such, if you apply the homestead exemption in Texas and apply exempt personal property exemptions, you can proceed using the small estate administration process if the decedent’s estate is $50,000 or less.
Because of our state’s broad homestead exemption laws, you should speak with our office regarding your rights to proceeding under the small estate exception. The decedent’s heirs will have to file a Small Estate Affidavit with the probate court and provide records or paperwork showing they are beneficiaries to the decedent’s estate. Note that you cannot use an affidavit to transfer real property ownership in most cases. Furthermore, you may be able to use informal family settlement procedures if the decedent owned only a limited amount of personal property.
Contact our office today to speak with an experienced attorney about the probate procedures in Texas.