February 7, 2022
When Can I use a Small Estate Affidavit?
A Small Estate Affidavit (called SEA for short) can be an affordable way to transfer property to a decedent’s heirs. You may be able to use an SEA to probate an estate in Texas if you meet all of the requirements set out in the Texas Estates Code Chapter 205. Some of the important requirements include:
- The decedent died without a will.
- The decedent left less than $75,000 in property (not including homestead property and exempt property).
- The assets are worth more than the debts. (Note: When calculating the value of the debts and the assets, do not consider any mortgages or debts secured by exempt property as debts and do not consider homestead and exempt property as assets.)
- The only real property owned by the decedent was decedent’s homestead property, and the real property will be inherited only by person(s) homesteading with the decedent at the time decedent died – decedent’s surviving spouse and/or minor child(ren) who resided on property with decedent.
- You are able to locate all of the heirs and all of the heirs will sign the Small Estate Affidavit (or someone with legal authority will sign on their behalf).
- There is no pending application for appointment of a personal representative and no personal representative has been appointed by a court.
- There is no administration needed.