A Nebraska small estate affidavit is used to obtain the personal property of a deceased person without filing a probate action in court. Known in Nebraska as an “Affidavit for Transfer of Personal Property without Probate (CC 15:40),” this form bypasses the obligation for a lengthy legal proceeding and, instead, enables heirs to collect assets as soon as thirty (30) days from the date of death. Eligibility for small estate distribution is limited to estates valued at $50,000 or less.
Only the decedent’s personal property can be obtained using this affidavit. A separate procedure must be employed to transfer ownership of real estate (review this webpage for more information).
How to Record (3 Steps)
Certain legal factors determine whether an estate can be transferred to heirs and other successors without a formal probate action. According to Nebraska statute § 30-24,125, probate is not required if the estate meets the following requirements:
- The value of the estate is $50,000 or less, not counting any liens and encumbrances.
- Thirty (30) days have passed from the date of death.
- No real property is being transferred.
- No application or petition to appoint a personal representative has been issued or is pending.
- The claiming party is entitled to the property being transferred.
A successor to the decedent’s property will need to draft the Affidavit for Transfer of Personal Property without Probate. The person completing the form, the “affiant,” must wait until a notary public is present before signing. After the document has been signed and authenticated by the notary, a copy of the decedent’s death certificate must be attached.
A signed and notarized affidavit must be given to each party currently possessing or controlling the decedent’s property. The property holder is then obligated under § 30-24,126 to deliver the property to the affiant or, in the case of money owed, make payment to the affiant for the amount of indebtedness.
When claiming real property distributed under the decedent’s will, a copy of the will must be attached to the affidavit (§ 30-24,129(a)(4)).
Note: If transferring ownership of a vehicle titled in the decedent’s name alone, the affiant must complete an Affidavit for Transfer of Decedent’s Vehicle/Motorboat and file it with the Department of Motor Vehicles.