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Small Estate Affidavit

Blog August 5, 2015 The Story: Martha’s brother, Harold, died as a single man. He left a Last Will and Testament naming Martha as his Personal Representative. Harold’s estate consisted of $40,000 in checking and savings accounts in his name only. Question: How does Martha get the banks to turn over Harold’s money to her, without opening a probate estate? Answer: Martha can present the banks with a Small Estate Affidavit 45 days after Harold’s death. The Indiana statute IC 29-1-8-1 provides that a Small Estate Affidavit can be used to obtain property of a decedent if the gross probate estate, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed $50,000. The affidavit must state certain things, including, but no limited to, the fact that no application for a personal representative is pending, the names and addresses of each person entitled to share in the decedent’s estate, and that these persons have been notified of the intention to present the affidavit.

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