A Connecticut small estate affidavit, officially called the “Affidavit in Lieu of Probate of Will (Form PC-212),” is a legal document that allows the executors of small estates to bypass the probate court process when distributing an estate. Before the majority of a deceased person’s assets can be distributed to its inheritors, the action must be approved by the probate court. The affidavit expedites this procedure by requesting that the court approve the payment of funds to any creditors listed in the affidavit, and the distribution of assets as listed in the decedent’s will.
Any assets (including real estate) that are governed by a survivorship will not be considered a part of the assets covered in the affidavit. Therefore, inheritors may still be able to file the small estate affidavit even if the estate value exceeds $40,000.
How to File (4 Steps)
- Step 1 – Qualifications
- Step 2 – Complete Affidavit and Other Required Forms
- Step 3 – File Forms with Probate Court
- Step 4 – Distribution of Assets
Before filing a small estate affidavit, the petitioner must ensure that the decedent’s estate meets state requirements. To qualify for an Affidavit in Lieu of Probate of Will, the decedent’s estate must be $40,000 or less, include no real property, and no petition for settlement of the estate is pending. However, if the real property or assets in excess value are in the form of survivorship, the affidavit may be used. Furthermore, the petitioner must be the surviving spouse, next of kin, or have an interest in the decedent’s estate.
The petitioner must complete the Affidavit in Lieu of Probate of Will (Form PC-212), in which they will list the decedent’s assets and any expenses (medical bills, funeral costs, taxes, etc.) that must be paid from the estate before it is distributed to the heirs.
Form PC-212CI will also need to be completed to provide the decedent’s social security number (SSN). If the value of the decedent’s assets exceeds the sum total of any outstanding expenses related to the decedent’s funeral, medical treatment, taxes, and estate administration, the petitioner will also need to fill out and file Form PC-212A.
Upon the court’s approval of the affidavit, a judge will authorize the transfer of the decedent’s assets. Any creditors listed in the affidavit forms will have priority to receive payment, with the remaining assets being distributed in accordance with the decedent’s will. If the decedent has no will, distribution will be made in accordance with state law.