small-estatesA small estate affidavit is an inexpensive and convenient way to administer the estate of a deceased person without the necessity of the delays and expenses of probate court proceedings. We can help you prepare one in our Milwaukie Oregon office. To qualify as a small estate, the total value of the estate cannot be in excess of $275,000. Of that sum, no more than $75,000 of the estate can consist of personal property. This doesn’t include property that transfers automatically upon death like a joint tenancy or pay on death bank account. No more than $200,000 of the estate can consist of real estate.

Who can file the affidavit?

When a person dies with a will, he or she is said to have died testate. People die intestate when they die without a will. The heirs of a person who died intestate are allowed to file the small estate affidavit. If he or she had no heirs, the Oregon Division of State Lands can file it. If a person dies testate, anybody who takes under the will can file the affidavit. A creditor of a person who died intestate can also file within 60 days of the date of an intestate person’s death, but it must first receive authorization from the Division of State Lands to do so. In no case can the affidavit be filed until 30 days have passed since the date of the decedent’s death.

What to bring when you file the affidavit

The affidavit must be fully completed and signed in the presence of a notary. We can notarize the form for you in our Milwaukie Oregon office. If something asked for in the affidavit isn’t applicable, just write in either “does not apply” or “none.” For purposes of filing the affidavit, you’ll need to bring the following:

  • The completed, signed and notarized affidavit
  • A certified copy of the death certificate
  • The originally signed will
  • The appropriate filing fee

Keep a photocopy of the will for your records. The cost of the filing fee varies from county to county, but we can help you determine the cost. The affidavit can be filed at the office of the circuit court clerk in the county where:

  • The decedent died
  • The decedent lived or had a home at the time of his or her death, or
  • Any county where the decedent had property at the time of his or her death

We can arrange for filing of the affidavit for you.

We’re pleased to help you avoid the delays and expenses involved in probating an estate. Contact us here at the Barbur Law Office in Milwaukie Oregon for any estate planning or estate administration issues that you might have.