Under certain circumstances, personal property may be transferred to the decedent’s successors without having to go through a formal probate court process. Under California’s Probate Code section 13100-13116, the successors in interest may file Probate Form 13100 Affidavit for the Collection of Personal Property, also referred to as a Small Estate Affidavit, with the person or institution which has custody of the property.
Excluding the property described in Section 13050, if the gross value of the decedent’s real and personal property in this state does not exceed $166,250 and if 40 days have elapsed since the death of the decedent, the successor of the decedent 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 a formal request to be made for the 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 you.
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. Such property can be collected by using the probate form 13100 affidavit for the transfer of personal property of $166,250 or less. This amount was increased from $166,250 effective January 1, 2020.
Before completing the affidavit, you should perform an assessment to make sure it is appropriate to do so. For example, the affidavit can only be filed 40 days after the decedent’s death. No pending or former administrative proceedings must have been conducted for the decedent’s estate. Most importantly, the value of the estate (personal property) 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 the property.
There are several resources available online on how to complete a probate form 13100 affidavit. Unfortunately, many people who try to use this process without professional help discover their Affidavit has been rejected by the agency or financial institution. Contact A People’s Choice to begin the process. We not only provide our clients with a properly prepared probate form 13100 Affidavit, we also include a special letter and statutory authority to present to the necessary agency with your documentation. This additional paperwork typically resolves any questions a financial institution might otherwise have regarding using this unique probate process which allows the distribution of the assets of a small estate without probate.
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
- An appraisal of any real property the decedent owns in California
This documentation must be presented to each person or institution that holds the personal property.
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 compel the institution to make the transfer and for the reimbursement of attorney fees and court costs. As previously stated, A People’s Choice will provide you with a letter of statutory authority to present with your probate form 13100 Affidavit, which typically alleviates any questions or concerns the institution may have. We also include an affidavit of domicile, a document often needed when transferring stocks or mutual funds.
Small Estate Probate Form 13100 Affidavit For Personal Property
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
- The names of anyone entitled to the decedent’s personal property
Note, using the small estate form 13100 affidavit process is optional. Formal probate proceedings can be opened for any estate regardless of the value. Contact A People’s Choice for more information regarding probate alternatives for small estates.