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Texas Small Estate Affidavit Form

A Texas small estate affidavit can expedite the distribution of the assets of a deceased person (a decedent) when the estate is worth $75,000 or less and lacks a will. A successor can use the form to claim assets without undergoing a complicated court proceeding.
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How to File (6 steps)

1. Gather Information

The law requires you to wait 30 days before you file a small estate affidavit. You can use this time to gather all the information you’ll need. Determine whether the decedent had a will; if so, you cannot use a small estate affidavit. Calculate the value of all assets (excluding homestead and exempt property) and debts. If the debt amount exceeds the assets, you cannot use the small estate affidavit. You can find a list of exempt property in § 353.051. List each asset with enough detail to identify precisely what the asset is. Determine whether the decedent applied for Medicaid benefits on or after March 1, 2005. Also, gather information about each successor and relevant family history information that proves the heirship.

2. Prepare Affidavit

Download and fill out the Small Estate Affidavit and fill it out. Use this form when filing with the Harris County Clerk’s Office.

3. Identify Witnesses

The affidavit must be signed by two disinterested witnesses or people with no private interest in the estate. By signing, these witnesses will indicate they understand that anyone who executes the affidavit is liable for any damage or loss to any person that arises from payment, delivery, transfer, or issuance enabled by the affidavit.

4. Get Forms Notarized

Both the successor(s) and disinterested witnesses should sign the affidavit before a notary public.

5. File with the Probate Court

The affidavit should then be filed with the court clerk at the probate court in the county where the deceased resided. Some counties require a copy of the death certificate to be filed with the forms. The fee for filing the forms will vary by county.

6. Distribute Affidavit

Per § 205.004, once a judge approves the affidavit, copies should be distributed to each person who owes money to the estate, has custody of estate property, or acts as a registrar, fiduciary, or transfer agent of or for property belonging to the estate. The affidavit can now be used to collect assets from the estate.

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