California Small Estate Affidavit Form

A California small estate affidavit form (or SEA) is a legal form filed when an individual dies, leaving behind the personal property and no will regarding who should get what. It is convenient for the closest people to claim the decedent’s estate without undergoing the lengthy court process.

Usually, a SEA form should include:

  • Names and other details about the heir(s)
  • Information about the dead person
  • A list of properties and their value.

Besides the items listed above, a small estate affidavit usually contains a list of the decedent’s debts and other relevant expenses. Because the rules for creating such a document vary from state to state, the templates also differ. Each state has different requirements regarding:

  • The time from death that must elapse before filing the SEA form.
  • The value of the dead person’s property beyond which the form cannot be used.
California small estate affidavit official form

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California Laws and Requirements

The California Probate Code, Division 8, Part 1 regulates creating a SEA form. Sections 13100–13117 describe the majority of the rules and laws that cover the topic. The official name of this paper in California is the “Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property.”

The value of the decedent’s properties should not be more than 166,250 US dollars. To file the California small estate affidavit form, 40 days must pass from the day of death. These provisions are included in Section 13100 of the local Probate Code.

Most American states make it mandatory to notarize small estate affidavits. California is not an exception. Section 13104 of the Probate Code obliges you to notarize this paper.

California Small Estate Affidavit Laws Details

Max. Estate $166,250
Min. Time to Wait After Death 40 days
Filing Fee $435
State Laws California Probate Code, Sections 13000 to 13211
seal of california state
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Filling Out the California Small Estate Affidavit Form

To avoid problems while creating a small estate affidavit form in California, follow the below steps to complete the official document – Form SB 13100.

  • Download a Template of the Form

To complete the California SEA form, you need a template that correlates with the local standards. Use our form-building software to download the correct file.

Please note that there are several types of small estate affidavit forms, and one of them is for vehicles. However, here, we will look at the general SEA form.

  • Name the Decedent

The California SEA form should begin with the decedent’s details. Insert their name, date of death, county, and state where it happened.
Decedent indication part of California small estate affidavit form

  • Choose the Relevant Option

Further, state if there is any process happening with the decedent’s estate already or not. You will have two options. Choose one.
Relevant option choosing section of a California affidavit template of small estate

  • State if there are Real Estate Items

In Section V, you should state if the subject property item includes any real property. Opt for one of the suggested statements.
Real estate items specification part of a small estate affidavit document for California

  • List the Estate

Next, you have to list the estate of the decedent that heirs are aspiring to own.
Estate listing section of a small estate affidavit document for California

  • List the Heirs

Name all the people aspiring to receive the items of the decedent’s property.
Heirs listing part of a document of small estate affidavit for California

  • Describe Yourself

In Section VIII, you should state whether you are the successor or the one who acts on behalf of the deceased. To understand the difference, check out Sections 13006 and 13051 of the California Probate Code.
Successor description part of a California sea template

  • Sign the SEA Form

After choosing the type of relations between you and the decedent, sign the affidavit and add your name and current date.
Signing part of form of small estate affidavit for California

  • Notarize the SEA Form

Remember that in California, it is mandatory to notarize a SEA form. So, after appending your signature, ask a public notary agent to verify the document.
Notarization section of a small estate affidavit for California

Published: Jun 1, 2022