A Delaware small estate affidavit is a document that allows inheritors to take possession of a deceased individual’s estate without going through probate. To obtain the affidavit, the executor, relative, or next-of-kin of the deceased person will need to submit a request to the register of wills in their county. If the estate meets state requirements and the affidavit is issued, the requestor will be able to use the certified document to transfer the deceased’s property to their inheritors.
Note: the Small Estate Affidavit provided on this page is a sample form only. Refer to the below instructions for more information.
- Statute: Title 12, Chapter 23 – “Accounting and Distribution”
- Maximum Estate Value (§ 2306(3)): $30,000
- Mandatory Waiting Period (§ 2306(2))): Thirty (30) days
- Where to File: Register of Wills
How to File (3 Steps)
An estate is only eligible for a small estate affidavit if it meets state requirements and qualifications which are as follows:
- Thirty (30) days have passed since the deceased’s date of death.
- The estate is valued at $30,000 or less.
- There is no associated petition to assign a representative.
- The decedent’s debts have been paid or accounted for.
- The surviving spouse’s allowance has been paid or accounted for.
- The estate doesn’t include any real property in Delaware.
- Affidavits have been served to all interested parties that state the affiant’s right to receive any money, property, and evidence associated with the decedent’s estate.
- The requestor is the executor of the will, next-of-kin, or relative of the deceased.
- The requestor cannot be a felon.
Small estate affidavits must be requested from the local register of wills office. Requests can be made in person or by mail.
Go to the local register of wills with the original will (if any), a certified copy of the death certificate, and photo ID. Make the request and pay the required fee.
Complete the Request for Small Estate Affidavit and Inventory forms. Send the forms, along with the certified death certificate, original copy of the decedent’s will (if there is one), photocopy of the requestor’s photo ID, and fee payment, to the county register of wills. When requesting an affidavit by mail, the requestor must provide justification for not making the request in person.
- Request for Small Estate Affidavit by Mail
- Inventory Form
Upon the acceptance of a request for a small estate affidavit, the requestor will receive a “gold seal” affidavit. This document can be presented as proof of ownership when claiming the decedent’s property from a bank, DMV, and or other location where assets are being held.