An Alaska small estate affidavit can be used to circumvent the probate process after someone has passed away (the “decedent”) in order to distribute their personal property. This document, officially called an “Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of Decedent,” can only be used if the value of the decedent’s estate does not exceed $50,000 in personal property or $100,000 in vehicles.
Avoiding probate court can speed up the process of distributing the decedent’s estate, meaning the beneficiaries named in the will can receive what they are entitled to more quickly. A small estate affidavit can be used if the decedent died testate (with a will) or intestate (without a will). If the decedent did not execute a will, the property will be distributed to their heirs in accordance with intestate succession laws.
- Statute: Chapter 13.16, Article 12
- Maximum Estate Value (§ 13.16.680(a)(1)): $50,000 in personal property; $100,000 in vehicles (vehicles do not include ATVs, tractors, snowmobiles, off-road vehicles/equipment, and boats). Total must be less than $150,000.
- Mandatory Waiting Period (§ 13.16.680(a)): Thirty (30) days
- Where to File: The state of Alaska does not require the form to be filed with the probate court.
How to Record (3 Steps)
An Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of Decedent can be used to avoid the probate process in Alaska as long as the following requirements are met:
- Thirty (30) days have passed since the decedent died.
- No application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative of the decedent’s estate is pending or has been granted.
- The decedent did not own real property at the time of their death, unless the property they owned automatically passed onto another person (e.g., via a transfer on death deed).
- The value of the decedent’s personal property was equal to or less than $50,000.
- The value of the vehicles owned by the decedent was equal to or less than $100,000.
The person that completes the Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of Decedent (Form P-110) is called the successor. This can be a beneficiary named in the will or an heir of the decedent if they died intestate (without a will). The successor must fill out the affidavit and sign the document in the presence of a notary public.
Alaska statutes do not require that the affidavit be filed in probate court. The successor can deliver copies of the affidavit to any individual or business who is currently in possession of the decedent’s property and demand that they relinquish it in accordance with state law. (A copy of the decedent’s death certificate may be requested by the property holder.) The successor (or the personal representative named in the will) then distributes the property to the beneficiaries or the decedent’s rightful heirs, depending on whether or not a will was executed.