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When someone in Arizona dies and the size of the estate is less than $75,000, the estate may qualify for a simplified process for administering small estates. This process requires much less documentation and time.
This procedure involves the use of an Arizona Small Estate Affidavit. An Arizona Small Estate Affidavit is a sworn statement signed under oath by an heir or heirs of an estate attesting that the estate’s personal property is worth less than $75,000 and more than thirty days have passed since the Decedent’s death.
An Arizona Small Estate Affidavit is a device used to distribute assets that belonged to a Decedent in a summary distribution manner to survivors without full probate administration.
The Arizona Affidavit of Small Estate is extremely useful when heirs need quick access to the deceased’s bank accounts and securities.
The Arizona Small Estate Affidavit should be prepared by the executor of the deceased’s will or the person with the most knowledge of the deceased’s assets. If the Decedent dies without a will, then the spouse and heirs must prepare the Arizona Affidavit of Small Estate.
Information and documentation needed when drafting an Arizona Small Estate Affidavit:
- An itemized list of the fair market value of the assets.
- Copies of the Death Certificate and social security card.
- Confirmation that the deceased is a former resident of the county in Arizona.
- The status at death, intestate or testate.
- List of all heirs and addresses for each.
- A list of all unpaid expenses and debts of the Decedent, including funeral costs.
The Arizona Small Estate Affidavit is used to inform a probate court that a particular estate meets the requirements of Arizona Small Estate laws. Arizona caps the value of a small estate at $75,000 in personal property assets and $100,000 on the value of real property.
An Arizona Small Estate Affidavit is filed in the Arizona Superior Court where the Decedent lived at the time of death. It can also be filed in any county in Arizona where the Decedent owned property. The Arizona Affidavit of Small Estate informs the Court of the value of the deceased’s assets.
Once the Arizona Affidavit of Small Estate is filed, the Arizona Superior Court issues an order approving the Affidavit and transferring the property to the heirs.