A Virginia small estate affidavit is used when a recently deceased individual left an estate valued at less than $50,000 and their successors wish to avoid probate court to manage the decedent’s assets. Otherwise known as the “Virginia Small Estate Act Affidavit,” the document may only be used to manage small assets such as bank accounts, personal property, and vehicles; the form may not be used to transfer real property. If the estate is valued at $25,000 or less, the property may be transferred to the successors without this affidavit or court filings, provided the requirements of § 64.2-602 are met.
How to Record (3 Steps)
In order for the decedent’s successors to claim the estate’s small assets, the following requirements must be met:
- At least sixty (60) days have passed since the decedent’s death.
- The decedent’s estate does not exceed $50,000 in value at the time of their death.
- If the decedent had a will, it has been admitted to probate at the circuit court in the county where the decedent lived.
- No application is pending or granted for the appointment of a personal representative.
The successor(s) of the decedent must complete the Virginia Small Estate Act Affidavit and have it notarized. The affidavit must state:
- That the claiming successor is entitled to the small asset.
- All names and addresses of any known successors.
- The name of each designated successor; i.e., a successor authorized to collect payment/assets on behalf of the other successors.
The affidavit must also state a description of the type of small asset the successor is entitled to, (e.g., bank account, personal property, stock, etc.). This document may be used to collect a single asset, and the designated successors may need to complete separate affidavits to collect all of the decedent’s assets.
The completed affidavit may be delivered to any party possessing a small asset that the successors are entitled to.
The designated successors receiving payment or assets have the duty to deliver, safeguard, or pay the asset to the successors in accordance with Virginia law. In accordance with § 64.2-601(B), a designated successor may manage the payment or delivery of a small asset to a disabled or incapacitated successor by paying it to said successor’s guardian, conservator, or custodian, or by managing it on their behalf.