Washington D.C. Small Estate Affidavit Form

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The Washington D.C. small estate affidavit, also known as a petition for administration of a small estate, is a legal document that can be utilized in place of probate for a small estate. In the District of Colombia, a small estate is an estate worth less than $40,000. (This amount applies to deaths after April 26, 2001.) The affidavit makes the process of distributing assets much cheaper and much quicker than it is for larger estates.


How to File (4 steps)

Step 1 – Prepare Documentation

You’ll need a death certificate and a will if there was one, as well as a certificate confirming the will was filed. You’ll need photo identification, all bills and receipts associated with the funeral or cremation, and a written list of everything the deceased person owned at the time of death. This includes:

  • real estate;
  • bank accounts;
  • stocks;
  • bonds;
  • retirement accounts;
  • automobile titles;
  • uncashed checks.

Step 2 – Prepare Affidavit

If you are eligible to be the personal representative for the small estate, per the provisions of § 20–303, you can download and prepare the Petition for Administration of Small Estate form. This asks for such information as a list of known creditors and the amount of each claim, a statement of any legal proceedings pending in which the deceased person was a party, a list of all interested parties and their relationship to the deceased person, and a list of assets and debts belonging to the estate, including funeral expenses. If the petitioner resides outside the District of Colombia, he or she will have to assign power of attorney to the Register of Wills.

Step 3 – File Affidavit

The affidavit has to be filed with a small estate specialist in the Legal Branch of the Probate Division. Deliver all your documents and your petition to Room 314 on the third floor at 515 5th Street, NW, to file. The specialist will review your petition and supplementary information. If the value of the estate’s assets exceeds $1,500, and any heir outlined in the affidavit is not the deceased person’s spouse or minor child (or is an adult child inheriting more than $11,500), then the affidavit must be circulated to a local newspaper for publication. The specialist will take care of this, and the filer is responsible for paying for publication. This notice, which only has to be published once, gives creditors and unknown heirs 30 days to file claims against the estate. Once 30 days have passed, the newspaper will issue a proof of publication, which will be filed with the Legal Branch of the Probate Division.

Step 4 – Collect Assets

Once all is settled, the court will issue a final order directing the personal representative to administer the estate. The personal representative must ensure that all debts are paid and all assets are distributed to their rightful successors. The petitioner should keep meticulous records.

How to Write

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