Sometimes a probate is not big – in fact there are times when the probate is small. For those in need of gaining access to a small bank account or asset, there is something called a Small Estate Affidavit.  The Small Affidavit exists in Michigan, but what exactly is it?

Probate Attorney Darren Findling of The Probate Pro explains what a Small Estate Affidavit is, as well as the process in doing a Small Affidavit.

The small estate affidavit or Affidavit to Avoid Probate form is associated with MCL 700.3983, which states:

(1) After 28 days after a decedent’s death, a person indebted to the decedent or having possession of tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock, or chose in action belonging to the decedent shall pay the indebtedness or deliver the tangible personal property or the instrument to a person claiming to be the decedent’s successor upon being presented with the decedent’s death certificate and a sworn statement made by or on behalf of the successor stating all of the following:

(a) The estate does not include real property and the value of the entire estate, wherever located, net of liens and encumbrances, does not exceed $15,000.00, adjusted as provided in section 1210.

(b) Twenty-eight days have elapsed since the decedent’s death.

(c) An application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is not pending or has not been granted in any jurisdiction.

(d) The claiming successor is entitled to payment or delivery of the property.

(e) The name and address of each other person that is entitled to a share of the property and the portion to which each is entitled.

(2) A transfer agent of a security shall change the registered ownership on the books of a corporation from the decedent to the successor or successors upon the presentation of a sworn statement as provided in subsection (1).

(3) The state court administrative office shall develop and make available a standardized form for use as a sworn statement that can be used for the procedure authorized under subsection (1).

The form shall include a notice that a false statement may subject the person swearing to the statement to prosecution for perjury.

Darren Findling of The Probate Pro discusses the Affidavit process to avoid probate with the Small Estate Affidavit titled Affidavit of Decedent’s Successor in Interest for Delivery of Certain Assets.