Texas Small Estate Affidavit Form

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The Texas Small Estate Affidavit is for use when a decedent (the person who died) left $75,000 or less in property and died without a will. It provides a more streamlined method of taking care of a decedent’s estate when there are few assets and no will. In order to use this form, you have to be a person entitled to the decedent’s property. In addition, 30 days must have passed since the decedent died and there cannot be any other probate proceeding pending on behalf of decedent’s estate. The form must be approved by the probate court in the county in which decedent resided at the time of death before it can be used to collect the decedent’s property.

Laws – Sec. 205.001(3)

Maximum – $75,000

For Harris County ONLY – Use this form for filing with the Harris County Clerk’s Office.

How to Write

1 – The Affidavit Available On This Page Should Be Downloaded

Save the paperwork available through one of the three buttons captioning the preview image. The image may be downloaded as an  Adobe PDF. This document will serve a Distributee’s Interest in a small estate.

2 – Make Sure The Heading Here Is Satisfied

Some courts may require the heading be filled out by a clerk but in many cases, you can supply this information once you obtain it. You may begin by entering the Estate Number at the top of the page.  On the left, record the Name do the Decedent on the blank line labeled “Deceased”  Now, on the blank space on the right, after the words “In The,” enter the Court Number where this Affidavit will be submitted. Mark the box labeled “Probate Court” or “County Court/County Court At Law” to indicate the type of court that will be responsible for this document Finally, produce the Name of the County where this paperwork is being filed on the blank space just before the words “County, Texas.”

3 – Supply Some Basic Definitions To This Document’s Initial Items

This document will list several relevant points concerning the conditions that must be true. Some items will require information that will apply the conditions presented to the situation at hand. Item A will require several pieces of information. First, locate the first blank line then document the Full Name of the individual who has passed away.  Use the next three blank spaces in this statement to report the Calendar Date when the Decedent died as a Calendar Day, Month, and Year. Make sure this Date is the exact Date reported on his or her Death Certificate.  The last blank line in Item A should have the Name of the County where the Decedent died documented on it.  The County where the Decedent lived and maintained a residence should be entered on the blank line in Item C, if he or she died outside of that County. If this County is different from the County where he or she died, then some facts supporting this must be included. Item H will supply three statements to choose from to define the Decedent’s Status in the Medicaid system. Mark the first box to indicate the Decedent applied for/received Medicaid Benefits on or before March 1, 2005  If the first statement  does not apply you may mark the second box to indicate the Decedent applied for/received Medicaid Benefits after this Date.  If the Decedent did apply for Medicaid on or after this Date but no Claim against the Estate exists, then mark the third box. Note: If the third box has been marked then include a Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) Certification indicating the Estate is not subject to a Claim or include information proving a MERP Claim will not be filed. 

4 – Give A Report On The Decedent’s Property

The first article of this document will present a table that requires information regarding the Decedent’s Assets. Six rows across three column headings has been supplied for this purpose: Description Of Asset(s), “$$ Value Of Decedent’s Interest On Date Of Affidavit,” and “Additional Information. Use the first column to describe the Decedent’s Assets at the time of his or her Death. Such information may contain items such as the Name of the Decedent’s Bank along with the last four digits of his or her Account Number, the Make/Model/Vin of his or her Car, etc.

The second column should be used to document the Value of the Asset listed in the first column. Only Assets that have a Dollar Value recorded here can be approved. The third column shall require a Status report on each Asset in relation to any Spouse or Children with an interest in that Asset. Document if the Decedent Asset is considered a Community Asset (obtained during a Marriage outside of Gifts or Inheritance) or Separate Property (gained before Marriage, as a Gift, or as an Inheritance). Additionally, if applicable, indicate the Interest the reported party has in the reported Asset. Enough room has been supplied to comfortably list up to seven Decedent Assets however, this report may be continued on an attachment. Make sure any such Attachment is properly Labeled, Dated, and cited in this area.

5 – Define The Principal’s Liabilities

The next item, labeled as “J,” will also present a table requesting information. Use the column labeled “Description Of Liabilities/Debt” to provide a full report detailing the what the Decedent owed at the time of his or her death. Such a report should include the facts necessary to properly identify the Decedent’s Debtors (i.e. Name of Creditor, Account Number, Contacts, etc.). The column designated as “Balance Due” should have the total Amount the Decedent’s Estate owes the Debtor listed on that row in the first column.

6 – Indicate The Specifics On Any Legal Fees Involved

The next paragraph, in bold, will deal with Attorney Fees that “…One Or More Distributees Have Paid Or Will Pay.” List the total amount any Attorney Fees that must be satisfied for this Small Estate Affidavit on the first blank line. List the individual(s) responsible for Paying these Fees or will be responsible for Paying these Fees.

7 – Provide The Family History Of The Decedent

The next item “K,” will have several sections regarding the Decedent’s Family History. All applicable sections regarding this must be satisfied with information.

Begin with the box labeled “Family History #1: Marriage” where we will discuss the Decedent’s Marriage Status at the time of death. If he or she was unmarried, and thus considered “Single,” mark the first checkbox. If the Decedent was married at the time of death then mark the second checkbox, record the Spouse’s Full Name on the first blank space, and report the Date the Decedent married this person. If the Decedent did not have any Children (biological, adopted, or wards of the State) then mark the first checkbox in “Family History #2: Children.” If the Decedent did have Children, then mark the second checkbox. In this case, a table has been supplied so that each “Child’s Name,” “Birth Date, If Known,” and the “Name of the Child’s Other Parent” can be properly documented.

The box bearing the label “Family History #3: Children, Part 2” will need some attention if the Decedent had any children. If the Decedent’s Children (regardless of how precisely they are related) were all alive when the Decedent passed away, then place a mark in the first checkbox. If not, then mark the second checkbox and use the attached table to list the Name of each Child that died before the Decedent in the first column, the Calendar Date when the Child died in the second column, and the Name of each Child or Grandchild of the deceased Child. If the deceased Child was not survived by any Children, Grandchildren, or Great Grandchildren then, mark the third checkbox then fill in the Name of the Deceased Child and the Date the Decedent’s Child passed away in the first and second column (respectively) of the corresponding table.

“Family History #4: Parents” may be filled out at the Distributee’s discretion however, it should be noted that it is not a requirement if the Decedent has any living Children, Grandchildren, and/or Great-Grandchildren. If not, then mark the checkbox if both Decedent’s Parents are alive then fill in the Full Name of the Decedent’s Mother on the first blank line for this choice and the Name of the Decedent’s Father on the second blank line. If only one of the Decedent’s Parents are alive, select the second checkbox here, then fill in the Full Name of the surviving Parent on the first blank line then the Decedent’s Other Parent on the second blank line and the Other Parent’s Calendar Date of Death on the third blank line. If both of the Decedent’s Parents have passed away, then mark the third checkbox. The box labeled “Family History #5: Sisters And Brothers” will contain two tables and should be attended to if both the Decedent’s Parents and all of his or her Children/Grandchildren/Great Grandchildren are deceased. If so, then list the Full Name for each of the siblings the Decedent had that were alive at the time of the Decedent’s Death in the first column, indicate if the sibling is a Full or Half-Sibling in the second column, and that Sibling’s Birth Date in the third column. If the Decedent’s sibling died after the Decedent, provide the Date of Death as well.If the Decedent had any Siblings that passed away before his or her death, then mark the second checkbox in this area then use the table to report the Name of each deceased Decedent Sibling, whether this Sibling is A Full Sibling or not, the Name of every Child surviving the Decedent’s Sibling who was alive at the time of the Decedent’s Death, and the Birth Date of each of the Decedent’s Nieces/Nephews in the first, second, third, and fourth columns.

8 – Document The Fractional Interest Each Heir Has In Decedent’s Estate

The next area, item “L,” will require a consultation with the “Instructions & Forms Using A Small Estate To Probate An Estate In Texas And The Descent Distribution Chart. Use the table provided here to fill in the Full Name, Address, Telephone Number, and Email Address of each of the Decedent’s Heirs in the first column. Then, in the second column, fill in the “Share Of Separate Personal Property” the Distributee is entitled to of the Decedent’s Estate. The Distributee’s expected “Share Of Separate Real Property” of the Decedent’s Estate in the third column, and the Distributee’s “Share Of Decedent’s Community Property” in the last column.

9 – Two Witnesses And A Notary Are Required To Substantiate The Principal Signing

The next item, labeled “M,” will open with a disclosure box beginning with the words “We, As Distributees Of The Decedent…” Fill in the Name of the County where this Affidavit is being filed on the blank line in this box.Next, the each Distributee must supply a Notarized Signature witnessed by two disinterested parties. The area directly below this will contain the area a Notary Public must work with. The Distributee must Print and Sign his or her Name on the blank lines labeled “Distributee’s Printed Name” and “Distributee’s Signature.” Enough space has been provided so two Distributee’s may sign this document. Next each Witness must Sign and Print his or her Name on the blank lines labeled “Disinterested Witness’s Printed Name” and “Disinterested Witness’s Signature.” Two areas have been supplied so each Witness may tend to a separate area. Each Witness Signature must be Notarized.