11 Jul SMALL ESTATES AFFIDAVIT LIMIT INCREASED TO $75,000.00
Texas has increased the value of estate assets, excluding a homestead (if there is an exemption such as a surviving spouse or unmarried child living in the home and using it as their homestead) and other exempt property, to $75,000.00 which can pass to heirs of a person who died intestate without having to wait to have a personal representative appointed. Otherwise, if one dies without a will, the heirs may need to have an heirship determination and have a representative appointed by the court so that there is authority granted to someone to gather the assets of the estate, pay the bills of the estate and distribute the remainder to the heirs – which could be a lengthy and expensive process.
In contrast, a Small Estates Affidavit is a far less expensive and a quicker way for heirs to be distributed their share of the assets. Although a Small Estates Affidavit is filed with the court, no court appearance is needed. The Affidavit must be sworn to by two disinterested witnesses and each distributee who has legal capacity as to the following: there is no will, thirty days have elapsed since the date of the decedent’s death, no petition for the appointment of a representative is pending, the value of the assets does not exceed $75,000.00, a list of all known assets and liabilities, the name and address of each distributee and the relevant family history facts concerning heirship that show the distributee’s (heir’s) right to receive estate money.
The court reviews the Affidavit and (if properly done) would sign an Order so that the assets could be distributed. If interested in attending one of our next free Estate Planning Essentials workshops on either July 12 or August 2, click here or call us at (214) 720-0102.