Small Estates

Small Estates in California Probate

Small estates that only contain a limited amount of property or assets may not have to go through formal court proceedings like larger estates. In California, the process of dealing with small estates is commonly referred to as Summary Probate Proceedings, and this procedure can be used:

  • Regardless of whether there is a will in place for small estates.
  • As an alternative to more formal, complicated and time-consuming probate proceedings.
  • To expedite the transfer of the assets of small estates to the appropriate beneficiaries.

At the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman, our Los Angeles Area probate attorney is experienced at overseeing the administration of small estates and can inform people of their best options. Rather than go it alone and risk costly mistakes, trust the administration of small estates to our skilled lawyer, who can help you minimize the potential costs, delays and challenges associated with the process.

Small Estates in California: Options for Small Estate Administration

According to California law, small estates are defined as those that include:

  • Less than $150,000 in assets that only include personal property (like bank accounts) and not any real property (like homes, land, buildings, etc.); or
  • Any real property that is valued at $20,000 or less.

When estates meet these requirements, then the following options may be pursued to administer the estate, limit the court’s involvement and bypass probate:

  • An Affidavit (or Declaration) for Collection or Transfer of Personal Property (Probate Code § 13100) – This option is geared toward estates that are only comprised of personal property (rather than any real property). With this option for small estates, the Affidavit should be filed with the court at least 40 days following the date of the decedent’s passing. Additionally, it should be signed by all of the beneficiaries and be notarized.
  • An Affidavit re Real Property of Small Value – With this option for small estates, the Affidavit must be filed six months after the decedent’s passing in the county where the decedent lived. If the decedent did not live in California, then this Affidavit should be filed in the county in which the property in question is located.

With both of these options, there is limited court involvement, meaning that the matters associated with small estates may be able to be resolved relatively quickly and efficiently at a minimal cost.

San Fernando Valley Probate Attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman

Do you need help overseeing the administration of a small estate? If so, the trusted San Fernando Valley probate attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman is here to help you. For more than three decades, our San Fernando Valley probate attorney has been committed to providing his clients with personalized, highly responsive service, as well as superior representation for all of their important legal matters.

Contact an Experienced North Hills Probate Lawyer for Help Administering a Small Estate

Let’s talk about your options for administering small estates today. You can contact our firm by calling (818) 462-8355 or by filling out the contact form on this page.

From our offices based in North Hills, we provide the highest quality legal services to our clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, and the greater Los Angeles area.