If you're wrapping up the estate of a state resident who died with an estate that's worth less than a certain dollar amount, you won't have to go through a formal probate court proceeding. 

It doesn't matter whether or not the deceased person left a will; what matters is the value of the assets left behind. If the estate's value is under the "small estates" limit in your state, you can take advantage of a simplified probate procedure, often called a "summary probate." Instead of having a court hearing in front of a judge, you may need only to file a simple form or two and wait for a certain amount of time before distributing the assets.

Below is a list of some states and the corresponding statutes that governed the use of a Small Estate Affidavit (SEA) in probate. This information may be outdated, so please consult the most recent legal resources for up-to-date information.

  1. California - Cal. Prob. Code § 13100-13116
  2. Texas - Tex. Estates Code § 205.001-205.010
  3. New York - N.Y. Surr. Ct. Proc. Act § 1301-1312
  4. Florida - Fla. Stat. § 735.201-735.207
  5. Illinois - 755 ILCS 5/25-1
  6. Pennsylvania - 20 Pa. C.S. § 3102
  7. Ohio - Ohio Rev. Code § 2113.03
  8. Georgia - Ga. Code Ann. § 7-1-239
  9. North Carolina - N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-25-1
  10. Michigan - Mich. Comp. Laws § 700.3982
  11. New Jersey - N.J. Stat. § 3B:10-3 and § 3B:10-4
  12. Virginia - Va. Code Ann. § 64.2-600-64.2-605
  13. Washington - Wash. Rev. Code § 11.62.010-11.62.097
  14. Arizona - Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 14-3971
  15. Massachusetts - Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 190B, § 3-1201

This list is not exhaustive and only includes some states. Click on the state-specific article below to learn about your state's small estate's dollar limit and procedure.


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