Under certain circumstances, personal property may be transferred to the decedent’s successors without a formal in-court probate. Under California’s Probate Code Section 13100-13116, successors in interest may file probate form 13100 affidavit for the collection of personal property, also known as a small estate affidavit, with the person or institution which has custody of the property:

Excluding property described in Section 13050, if the gross value of the decedent’s real and personal property in California does not exceed $166,250 and if 40 days have elapsed since the decedent’s death, the successor may, without procuring letters of administration or awaiting probate of the will, do any of the following with respect to one or more particular items of property:

(a) collect any particular item of property that is money due the decedent;
(b) receive any particular item of property that is tangible personal property of the decedent;
(c) have any particular item of property that is evidence of a debt, obligation, interest, right, security, or chose in action belonging to the decedent transferred, whether or not secured by a lien on real property

The probate form 13100 affidavit allows for a formal request of property to be delivered or transferred to the successor. Read on to learn more about when you can use probate form 13100 or other alternatives for small estates, and how A People’s Choice can help.

Small Estate Personal Property Overview

Personal property refers to any type of property that is not real estate. This includes jewelry, automobiles, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and household goods.  Successors may inherit such property using probate form 13100 affidavit for the transfer of personal property of $166,250 or less.

Before completing the affidavit, you should perform an assessment to ensure it is appropriate to do so. For example, you can only file the affidavit 40 days after the decedent’s death. Also, no pending or former administrative proceedings must have been conducted for the decedent’s estate. Most importantly, the value of the estate cannot exceed $166,250. If more than one successor is entitled to receive the decedent’s personal property, all beneficiaries must sign the affidavit identifying that property.

Probate Form 13100 Affidavit – Required Information and Documents

The 13100 affidavit must include the following information:

  • the decedent’s name, date and place of birth;
  • an appraisal of any real property the decedent owned;
  • a description of the property to be collected; and
  • the names of anyone entitled to the decedent’s personal property.

Note, using the small estate form 13100 affidavit process is optional. Also, you can open formal probate proceedings for any estate regardless of the value. Contact A People’s Choice for more information regarding probate alternatives for small estates.

Other Documents

The 13100 affidavit must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • a certified copy of the death certificate;
  • evidence that the decedent owned the property;
  • the identity of the person signing the affidavit, such as a driver’s license or passport; and
  • an appraisal of any real property the decedent owns in California.

You must present this documentation to each person or institution that holds the personal property.

Get Help With Probate Form 13100 Documents

There are several resources available online to help you complete a probate form 13100 affidavit. Unfortunately, many people who try to use this process without professional help have their affidavit rejected.

To avoid these issues, contact A People’s Choice to get help from a legal document assistant. We always provide our clients with a properly prepared probate form 13100 affidavit. 

Additionally, when filing, remember that the institution may refuse to release the property without receiving Letters. If this occurs, tell the institution’s representative that California law allows you to petition the court to make the transfer and for the reimbursement of attorney fees and court costs.

However, to alleviate any questions or concerns the institution may have, A People’s Choice always includes a special letter and statutory authority for presentation to the necessary agency. Additionally, we include an affidavit of domicile, a document often needed when transferring stocks or mutual funds.

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