The Small Estate Administration is a legal proceeding that transfers a decedent’s property without the need to appoint a personal representative of the estate. Very briefly, it is an application process with the probate court that lists the known heirs and the assets and liabilities of the decedent. A Small Estate administration is only to be used when there is no will. This probate method is more cost effective and faster than a typical intestate administration because Texas courts do not typically require a hearing for this process. As the name states, this process is specifically designed to deal with smaller estates.
If you’re currently dealing with a probate matter, you may have been told that you could file an affidavit of heirship and avoid court altogether. While this may be partially true, there are instances where a court order is necessary to clarify matters as required by a title company or other third parties. In some cases third parties will not recognize affidavits of heirships as a full determination of heirship. This can cause future problems if heirs are attempting to sell property from the estate, particularly real property.
Although the Small Estate Affidavit is filed with the court, it is not entitled to an automatic approval by the judge even if all the requirements are met. Once the affidavit is approved, it should be filed in the real property records where the homestead property is located.
Understanding the various probate alternatives can be daunting task for those who are not familiar with the process. A Small Estate Administration usually requires the services of aprobate attorney and a filing with the probate court. At Guerra Days we have competent attorneys who can assist you with your probate matter if the need arises.
As with all of the videos in our digital library, the content within this video is not intended as legal advice but rather as a short explanation of the Texas Small Estate Administration process.