What paperwork is necessary for a small estate when the decedent died without a will?

There are two procedures:

  1. There is a procedure whereby the assets of the small estate can be transferred to the surviving spouse without the necessity of Administration. An Affidavit of Surviving Spouse can be issued to the surviving spouse if the decedent did not have a will and the real and personal assets of the decedent do not exceed $50,000.
  2. A similar procedure is used when the decedent dies without a will, leaving no surviving spouse, but does leave next of kin. In such a case, if the total value of the real and personal property of the decedent does not exceed $20,000 one of the next of kin, with the consent of the others, may file an Affidavit of Next of Kin in lieu of Administration.

Both procedures can only be done when the decedent did not have a will. If there is a will, it must be probated.

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1. What is a Surrogate?
2. What is it meant to probate?
3. Are wills registered?
4. How do I begin the probate process?
5. Do I need an appointment?
6. What if there is no will?
7. What is the purpose of a surety bond and why is it required?
8. How do I get released from the surety bond?
9. How is distribution made if there is no will?
10. Without a will, how much is the surviving spouse entitled to?
11. What paperwork is necessary for a small estate when the decedent died without a will?
12. What information should I collect?
13. What is a Surrogate short certificate?
14. How many Surrogate short certificates will I need?
15. I am Power of Attorney; does this mean I can access the estate assets?
16. Where can I get more death certificates?
17. What are the basic obligations of the Executor or Administrator?
18. Is it necessary to notice all beneficiaries and next of kin that the will was probated?
19. Where does the Executor / Administrator obtain the funds to pay debts?
20. Do I have to pay all claims?
21. Am I entitled to compensation for acting as the Executor or Administrator?
22. How do I get a will out of a safe deposit box?
23. What if the will is not properly executed?
24. What is a formal accounting?
25. Do I need a formal accounting?
26. Does a divorce revoke the entire will?
27. Can I prepare my own will?
28. Where should I keep my will?
29. Do I still need a will even if I have a small estate?
30. What is a living trust?