Texas Probate Form

Small Estate Affidavit

Everything you need to know about Texas Form Small Estate Affidavit, including helpful tips, fast facts & deadlines, how to fill it out, where to submit it and other related TX probate forms.

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About Small Estate Affidavit

There are all sorts of forms executors, beneficiaries, and probate court clerks have to fill out and correspond with during probate and estate settlement, including affidavits, letters, petitions, summons, orders, and notices.

Small Estate Affidavit is a commonly used form within Texas. Here’s an overview of what the form is and means, including a breakdown of the situations when (or why) you may need to use it:

Atticus Fast Facts About Small Estate Affidavit

Sometimes it’s tough to find a quick summary— here’s the important details you should know about Small Estate Affidavit:

  • This form pertains to the State of Texas

  • The current version of this form was last revised on January 1, 1970

Government forms are not typically updated often, though when they are, it often happens rather quietly. While Atticus works hard to keep this information about Texas’s Form Small Estate Affidavit up to date, certain details can change from time-to-time with little or no communication.

How to file Form Small Estate Affidavit

Step 1 - Download the correct Texas form based on the name and ID if applicable

Double check that you have both the correct form name and the correct form ID. Some Texas probate forms can look remarkably similar, so it’s best to double, even triple-check that you’re using the right one! Keep in mind that not all States have a standardized Form ID system for their probate forms.

Step 2 - Complete the Document

Fill out all relevant fields in Form Small Estate Affidavit, take a break, and then review. Probate and estate settlement processes in TX are long enough to begin with, and making a silly error can push your timeline even farther back. No thank you!

Note: If you don’t currently know all of the answers and are accessing Form Small Estate Affidavit online, be sure to avoid closing the browser tab and potentially losing all your progress (or use a platform like Atticus to help avoid making mistakes).

Step 3 - Have Form witnessed or notarized (if required)

Some States and situations require particular forms to be notarized. If you have been instructed to get the document notarized or see it in writing on the document, then make sure to hire a local notary. There are max notary fees in the United States that are defined and set by local law. Take a look at our full guide to notary fees to make sure you aren’t overpaying or getting ripped off.

Step 4 - Submit Small Estate Affidavit to the relevant office

This is most often the local probate court where the decedent (person who passed away) is domiciled (permanently resides) or the institution involved with this particular form (e.g. a bank). Some offices allow you to submit forms online, other’s don’t, and we while we generally recommend going in-person to expedite the process, sometimes that simply isn’t an option.

It’s also a generally good idea to establish a positive working relationship with any probate clerk (unfortunately there’s enough people & process out there making things more difficult and unnecessarily confusing for them), so a best practice is to simply ask the probate clerk proactively exactly how and where they’d prefer you to submit all forms.

Need help getting in touch with a local probate court or identifying a domicile probate jurisdiction?

👉 Find and Contact your Local Probate Court

👉 What is a Domicile Jurisdiction?

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When Small Estate Affidavit is due

Different probate forms or processes can require different deadlines or response times for completing the appropriate form.

While some steps in the process are bound to specific deadlines (like petitioning for probate, having to submit an inventory of assets, or filing applicable notices to creditors and beneficiaries), many probate forms or processes are not tied to a specific deadline since the scope of work can vary based on situational factors or requirements involved.

Either way, there are a bunch of practical reasons why personal representatives should work to complete each step as thoroughly and quickly as possible when completing probate in Texas.

5 reasons you should submit this form as quickly as possible:

  1. The sooner you begin, the faster Texas can allow heirs and beneficiaries to get their share of assets subject to probate. Acting promptly can also decrease the costs & overall mental fatigue through an otherwise burdensome process.

    Helpful Context: What’s the Difference Between Probate and Non-Probate Assets?

  2. In general, creditors of an estate usually have around 3-6 months from the time you file notice to creditors to file any claims for debt against the deceased’s assets. If they don’t, then that debt is forfeited (and more importantly, the executor won’t be held personally responsible). So doing this sooner means you have a better idea of who is owed what and ensures you won’t get a surprise collector months later.

  3. Not filing a will within 30 days (on average) could mean that the probate process proceeds according to intestate laws (laws that govern what happens to someone's stuff without a will) or is subject to unnecessary supervision by the probate court. And if you aren't directly related to the deceased (a.k.a. next of kin), this could also mean you lose your inheritance.

  4. It’s important to file any necessary state tax returns on behalf of the deceased or estate by the following tax season in Texas. If you don’t, you could owe penalties and interest. This also includes any necessary federal tax returns such as Forms 1040, 1041, or even a Form 706 estate tax return.

  5. If a house in the State of Texas is left empty (or abandoned) for a while, insurance can get dicey. For example, if the house burns down and no one has been there for a year, an insurance company may get out of paying your claim.

If you’re not using Atticus to get specific forms, deadlines, and timelines for Texas probate, then try and stay as organized as possible, pay close attention to the dates mentioned in any correspondence you have with the State’s government officials, call the local Texas probate clerk or court for exact answers regarding Form Small Estate Affidavit, and when in doubt— consult a qualified trust & estates lawyer for that area.

How to Download, Open, and Edit this form Online

Small Estate Affidavit is one of the many probate court forms available for download through Atticus.

It may also be available through some Texas probate court sites, such as . In order to access the latest version, be updated with any revisions, and get full instructions on how to complete each form, check out the Atticus Probate & Estate Settlement software or consider hiring a qualified legal expert locally within Texas.

While Atticus automatically provides the latest forms, be sure to choose the correct version of Form Small Estate Affidavit f using any other site or resource in order to avoid having to re-complete the form process and/or make another trip to the Texas probate court office.

Small Estate Affidavit is a .pdf, so opening it should be as simple as clicking “View Form” from within the Atticus app or by clicking the appropriate link found on any Texas-provided government platform. Once you’ve opened the form, you should be able to directly edit the form before saving or printing.

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Did you know?

  • Form Small Estate Affidavit is a probate form in Texas.

  • Texas has multiple types of probate and the necessary forms depend on the unique aspects of each estate, such as type and value of assets, whether there was a valid will, who is serving as the personal representative or executor, and even whether or not they also live in Texas.

  • During probate, all personal representatives and executives in are required to submit a detailed inventory of assets that must separate non-probate assets from probate assets.

  • Probate in Texas, especially without guidance, can take years to finish and cost upwards of $14,000.

Frequently Asked Questions about Small Estate Affidavit

Probate is the government’s way of making sure that when a person dies, the right stuff goes to the right people (including the taxes the government wants).

All of that stuff is collectively known as someone’s “estate”, and it’s the job of the executor or personal representative to fill out all the forms and complete all the required steps to formally dissolve the estate. 

To get instant clarity on the entire probate process and get an idea of the steps, timeline, and best practices, read the Atticus Beginner’s Guide to Probate

The best place? Create an account in Atticus to start getting estate-specific advice. 

You may need a lawyer, you may not, and paying for one when you didn’t need it really hurts. Atticus makes sure you make  the best decisions (plus you can write it off as an executor expense).

We’ve also created a list of other probate services. Be sure to check it out!

An executor is named in someone’s will, and if the deceased didn’t have a will, then the spouse or other close family relative usually steps up to fulfill the role. If no one wants to do it, then a judge will appoint someone. 

The executor is responsible for the complete management of the probate process, including major responsibilities such as:

  • Creating an inventory of all probate assets.

  • Filling out all necessary forms

  • Paying off all estate debts and taxes

  • Submitting reports to the court and beneficiaries as requested

And much more. This process often stretches longer than a year. 

For an idea of what separates executors who succeed from those who make this way harder than it should be, visit our article, Executors of an Estate:
What they do & secrets to succeeding
.

The Exact Text on Form Small Estate Affidavit

Here’s the text, verbatim, that is found on Texas Form Small Estate Affidavit. You can use this to get an idea of the context of the form and what type of information is needed.

Form updated for 9/1/2017 ____________ County’s Required Small Estate Affidavit form Page 1 of 8 NO. ______________________________ Estate of ______________________________, Deceased § § § § § In the ____________ Court of _______________ County, Texas Small Estate Affidavit On the dates indicated below, all of the Distributees of this estate and two disinterested witnesses personally appeared and, on their oath, did swear or affirm to the accuracy of the following facts, pursuant to Chapter 205 of the Texas Estates Code: A.Decedent, ____________________________________________, died on the ________ day of _______________________, 20______ in __________________ County, Texas. A copy of Decedent’s death certificate will be filed in this cause number at the time this Affidavit is filed. B.More than 30 days have elapsed since Decedent’s death. C.Decedent was a resident of and domiciled in _________________ County, Texas, at the time of Decedent’s death. [If not this County, the affidavit must include facts supporting venue in this County.] D.Decedent died without a will. E.No administration is pending or has been granted in Decedent’s estate and none appears necessary. F.The total value of Decedent’s estate assets on the date of this affidavit, not including homestead and exempt property, is $75,000.00 or less. G.The total value of Decedent’s estate assets, not including homestead and exempt property, exceeds the total value of known liabilities. H.Medicaid – check the accurate box: The Decedent did not apply for and receive Medicaid benefits on or after March 1, 2005. OR Decedent did apply for and receive Medicaid benefits on or after March 1, 2005, and the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program claim is listed as a liability in section “J” below. OR The Decedent did apply for and receive Medicaid benefits on or after March 1, 2005, but there is no Medicaid claim against the estate. [If this box is checked, applicant(s) must either (1) file a Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) certification that decedent’s estate is not subject to a MERP claim or (2) include additional information proving that a MERP claim will not be filed.] ____________ County’s Required Small Estate Affidavit form Page 2 of 8 I.All assets of the Decedent’s estate and their values are listed here. NOTE: Community property is property acquired during marriage other than by gift or inheritance. Separate property is property owned before marriage or acquired by gift or inheritance during marriage. Description of Asset(s) List each asset with enough detail to identify exactly what the asset is. For example, give bank name and last four digits of an account number; give life insurance company name; give description of car plus VIN number; give address & legal description of real property. $$ value of Decedent’s interest on date of affidavit For each asset, list the value of Decedent’s interest in that asset. An affidavit cannot be approved with an asset of “unknown” value. Additional information 1.If decedent was married, indicate: •whether each asset was community or separate property, and •facts that explain why the asset was community or separate, and •total value of each community property asset. 2.If decedent was survived by a spouse, minor children, or unmarried adult children who lived with decedent, the list of known estate assets must indicate which assets applicant claims are exempt. See checklist for more information. Use additional pages as necessary. (Continue list as necessary. If list is continued on another page, please note.) ____________ County’s Required Small Estate Affidavit form Page 3 of 8 J.All liabilities/debts of the Decedent’s estate and their values must be listed here, as of the date the affidavit is signed. The affidavit must list all of Decedent’s existing debts and other liabilities including all credit card balances, doctor and hospital bills, utility bills, etc. – everything owed by Decedent or Decedent’s estate and not paid off. If none, write “none.” If funeral debts or attorney’s fees and expenses will be paid from estate assets, list them here. Description of Liabilities / Debts: List with enough detail to identify the creditor & any account. Balance Due (Continue list as necessary. If list is continued on another page, please note.) If you did not list attorney’s fees as a liability above but one or more distributees have paid or will pay attorney’s fees for this small estate affidavit, indicate the amount of those fees here: $________________. Also indicate who has paid or will pay the fees: _______________________________________________. K.The following facts regarding Decedent’s family history show who is entitled to what share of Decedent’s estate, to the extent that the assets of Decedent’s estate, exclusive of homestead and exempt property, exceed the liabilities of Decedent’s estate. [Put check marks in the appropriate small boxes, and provide additional information as indicated.] Family History #1: Marriage. On the date of Decedent’s death, Decedent was a single person. OR On the date of Decedent’s death, Decedent was married to __________________________. The date they were married: __________________________________. ____________ County’s Required Small Estate Affidavit form Page 4 of 8 Family History #2: Children. Decedent had no children by birth or adoption, and Decedent did not take any children into Decedent’s home to raise as a child. (Skip to Family History #4 if you check this box.) OR The following children were born to or adopted by Decedent. List all children, whether or not the child is still alive and whether or not parental rights were later terminated. If parental rights were terminated for any child, give details on separate page(s). Child’s name Birth date, if known Name of child’s other parent (Continue list as necessary. If list is continued on another page, please note.) Family History #3: Children, part 2. Answer if Decedent had any children. All of Decedent’s children, by birth or adoption, were alive when Decedent died. (If any child died after the Decedent, contact the Court before getting signatures on this form.) OR The following of Decedent’s children, by birth or adoption, died before the Decedent’s death and were survived by children (or grandchildren or great-grandchildren): Name of deceased child (followed by the name of the deceased child’s other parent in parentheses) Date child died Names of all children of the deceased child (if any of these children died before Decedent, use a separate page to give date of death, plus names & birth dates of all grandchildren) (Continue list as necessary. If list is continued on another page, please note.) AND/OR The following of Decedent’s children, by birth or adoption, died before the Decedent’s death and were not survived by any children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren: Name of deceased child Date child died (Continue list as necessary. If list is continued on another page, please note.) If Decedent was survived by any children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, you do not need to answer Family History #4 about Parents or Family History #5 about Sisters and Brothers. You may skip to “L” (following #5). ____________ County’s Required Small Estate Affidavit form Page 5 of 8 Family History #4: Parents. The Decedent was survived by both parents, ______________________________ (mother) and ______________________________ (father). OR Decedent was survived by only one parent, ______________________________. Decedent’s other parent, ______________________________, died on ________________. OR Both of Decedent’s parents died before Decedent’s death. Family History #5: Sisters and Brothers. The following information about Decedent’s sisters and brothers is not needed if Decedent was survived by both parents or by children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. The following are all of Decedent’s brothers and sisters who were alive on the date Decedent died, including half-brothers and half-sisters who were born to either of Decedent’s parents. If none, write “none.” If any of the following are now deceased, indicate date of death. Name of brother or sister State whether full or half-sibling Birth date (Continue list as necessary. If list is continued on another page, please note.) AND The following of Decedent’s brothers and sisters (including half-brothers and half-sisters who were born to either of Decedent’s parents) died before Decedent’s death. If none, write “none.” Name of deceased brother or sister (followed by the date of death in parentheses) Full or half sibling? Names of all children of deceased brother or sister (nephews and nieces of Decedent) that were alive on the date Decedent died. If any died before Decedent died, contact the Court. Birth dates of nieces & nephews (Continue list as necessary. If list is continued on another page, please note.) ____________ County’s Required Small Estate Affidavit form Page 6 of 8 Family History #6: Other. Fill out a separate page (or pages) if Decedent was survived by none of the following: spouse, child, grandchild, parent, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, niece, or nephew. If Decedent was survived by none of the above, list all of the surviving relatives of Decedent on a separate page. Specify Decedent’s family history with respect to each of the survivors, giving sufficient detail about names, birth dates, death dates, and relationships to explain how each survivor is related to Decedent. EVERYONE MUST FILL OUT THE FOLLOWING CHART. Before filling out the chart, see #13 & #15 and pages 6-8 of the Court’s Small Estate Affidavit Checklist. L.Based on the family history given in this Affidavit, the following chart lists all of the Decedent’s heirs at law, together with their fractional interests in Decedent’s estate: For each Distributee, list: 1.Name 2.Address 3.Telephone number 4.Email address Share of separate personal property (this column MUST be filled out) Share of separate real property (this column MUST be filled out, even if you do not list any real property) Share of decedent’s community property (if decedent was married, you must always fill out this column) (Continue list as necessary. If list is continued on another page, please note.) ____________ County’s Required Small Estate Affidavit form Page 7 of 8 Affidavits and signatures of all Distributee(s). As needed, include other signature pages for additional distributees. *** Every signature page for every distributee must include the box below: We, as Distributees of the Decedent and as indicated by our signatures below, do solemnly swear or affirm the following: ▪ the foregoing Affidavit was completed by persons who have actual knowledge of the stated facts; ▪ all of the facts stated in the foregoing Affidavit are true and complete; and ▪ each of us has legal capacity. We pray that this Affidavit be filed in the records of the _____________ County Clerk; that the same be approved by the Court; and that the Clerk issue certified copies of this Affidavit and the order approving it as evidence of Distributees’ right to inherit the property of Decedent as described above. We understand that Estates Code §205.007(c) provides that “[e]ach person who execute[s] [this] affidavit is liable for any damage or loss to any person that arises from a payment, delivery, transfer, or issuance made in reliance on the affidavit.” STATE OF __________________ § COUNTY OF ________________ § I am a Distributee in the Estate of _____________________________________________, Deceased. I swear or affirm that I have personal knowledge of the facts stated in the foregoing Affidavit and that the facts contained in the Affidavit are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. ____________________________________________________________________ Distributee’s printed name Distributee’s signature SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me by ________________________________ [name of Distributee], a Distributee, on this the _______ day of _____________________, 20____. ____________________________ (SEAL)Notary Public, State of _____________ STATE OF __________________ § COUNTY OF ________________ § I am a Distributee in the Estate of _____________________________________________, Deceased. I swear or affirm that I have personal knowledge of the facts stated in the foregoing Affidavit and that the facts contained in the Affidavit are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. ____________________________________________________________________ Distributee’s printed name Distributee’s signature SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me by ________________________________ [name of Distributee], a Distributee, on this the _______ day of _____________________, 20____. ____________________________ (SEAL)Notary Public, State of _____________ ____________ County’s Required Small Estate Affidavit form Page 8 of 8 Affidavits and signatures of two disinterested witnesses STATE OF __________________ § COUNTY OF ________________ § I have no interest in the Estate of ________________________________, Deceased, and am not related to Decedent under the laws of descent and distribution of the State of Texas. I swear or affirm that the facts contained in this Affidavit regarding family history, assets, and liabilities are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I understand that Estates Code §205.007(c) provides that “[e]ach person who execute[s] [this] affidavit is liable for any damage or loss to any person that arises from a payment, delivery, transfer, or issuance made in reliance on the affidavit.” ____________________________________________________________________ Disinterested Witness’s printed name Disinterested Witness’s signature SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me by ________________________________ [name of witness], a disinterested witness, on this the _______ day of _____________________, 20____. ____________________________ (SEAL)Notary Public, State of _____________ STATE OF __________________ § COUNTY OF ________________ § I have no interest in the Estate of ________________________________, Deceased, and am not related to Decedent under the laws of descent and distribution of the State of Texas. I swear or affirm that the facts contained in this Affidavit regarding family history, assets, and liabilities are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I understand that Estates Code §205.007(c) provides that “[e]ach person who execute[s] [this] affidavit is liable for any damage or loss to any person that arises from a payment, delivery, transfer, or issuance made in reliance on the affidavit.” ____________________________________________________________________ Disinterested Witness’s printed name Disinterested Witness’s signature SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me by ________________________________ [name of witness], disinterested witness, on this the _______ day of _____________________, 20____. ____________________________ (SEAL)Notary Public, State of _____________ Prepared in the Law Office of: [Attorney signature block]

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