Small Estates

Personal Estates less than $50,000

Procedures and Instructions:

  1. If you meet the following criteria you are eligible to use the Small Estate Affidavit pursuant to 64.2-601:
    1. The entire personal estate not including real estate is less than $50,000.
    2. 60 days have elapsed since the date of death.
    3. No person has been appointment as the Personal Representative and no appointment is pending. If you are unsure you may contact the Clerk to verify.
    4. The Decedent's will, if there is one, has been probated. To probate the will please review the following instructions.
    5. The affidavit must name the person or persons entitled to payment of the decedent’s assets. If there is more than one person entitled to the assets, then one of them may be designated by the group to collect and distribute the assets. All persons entitled for payment must sign the Affidavit in front of a notary.
  2. Fill out the Small Estate Affidavit (PDF)
  3. All persons entitled for payment must sign the Affidavit in front of a notary.
    1. The following are the persons entitled to payment if their is no will as defined in 64.2-200.
      1. The surviving spouse, unless there are children of someone other than with the surviving spouse, in which case, one-third passes to the surviving spouse and the remaining two-thirds is divided among all children.
      2. If no surviving spouse, all assets pass to the children and their descendants.
      3. If none, then all assets pass to the deceased's father and mother, or the survivor.
      4. If none, than all passes to the deceased's brothers and sisters or their descendants.
      5. For further heirs please review 64.2-200.
    2. If there is a will you must review the will to determine who is entitled to payment.
  4. If there is no will, no appointment is necessary and nothing has to be filed with the court and there are no costs or taxes to be paid to the court as well.
  5. Once the Small Estate Affidavit has been signed, you will present the Small Estate Affidavit to the person or business in possession of the small asset.
  6. If everything has been completed correctly, the person or business is required to pay the small assets to the designated successor, pursuant to 64.2-601.

Frequently Asked Questions for Small Estates

*The following information on this page is not intended to be legal advice if you have any questions please consult an attorney.