Using a Small Estate Affidavit
A Small Estate Affidavit is a tool that can be utilized, in certain circumstances, to transfer the property of a deceased individual without having to go to probate court. To use a Small Estate Affidavit, all of the following must be true:
- The total amount of the property in the estate is worth $100,000 or less;
- The person who died (the “decedent”) did not own any real estate, or they owned real estate that transferred on death to someone else;
- A probate court has not issued Letters of Office to an estate representative;
- If there is a will, that it was filed with the Clerk of the Court in the County where the decedent lived;
- The person utilizing the Small Estate Affidavit is not aware of any disputes or contested issues relating to the will and/or heirs of the decedent; and
- If there are unpaid debts of the decedent, that they are listed on the small estate affidavit, and that the person who signs the Small Estate Affidavit affirms that the unpaid debts will be paid from the assets of the decedent.
The Small Estate Affidavit requires the signor to swear and affirm under penalties of perjury that all of the conditions referenced above are met. The Small Estate Affidavit also then sets forth how the assets of the estate will be distributed.
An Illinois Small Estate Affidavit is made available to the public by the Illinois Secretary of State and can be found here: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/rtopr31.pdf
Please contact the Estate Planning attorneys at Bruning & Associates, P.C. at 815-455-3000 to schedule your complimentary consultation to discuss the conditions for a Small Estate Affidavit.
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