An Alabama small estate affidavit form (also known as a “Summary Distribution”), allows the family of a recently deceased person the ability to collect said person’s belongings, so long the value of the estate is under $30,245.00 (as of 2020).
The form provides a “shortcut” to the standard probate process, which can be both time intensive as well as costly for the members of the deceased person’s family. The form must be completed and recorded with the office of the judge of probate in the county the decedent died. Once recorded, the surviving spouse/distributee can present the form to financial institutions (such as a bank) to collect the decedent’s assets.
- Laws: § 43-2-692
- Maximum estate value: $30,245.00 (per the Jefferson County probate court)
- Mandatory waiting period: Thirty (30) days after the decedent’s death.
- Where to file: The office of the judge of probate. A list of probate courts can be found at sos.alabama.gov.
- The decedent was a resident of Alabama at the time of their death;
- There is no pending or granted petition for the appointment of a personal representative;
- All expenses relating to the funeral have been paid (or are arranged to be paid);
- Notice, posted either in the newspaper or at the county courthouse, is required for one (1) week; and
- All claims against the decedent have been paid (or will be paid), corresponding to the priority as outlined by § 43-2-692(9).