Small Estate Affidavit Info

Texas Small Estate Affidavit

Useful when no will, estate is small* & there is no real estate**

A Small Estate Affidavit is one of the Texas probate procedures available when the decedent did not have a will. The Texas Small Estate Affidavit is authorized by the Texas Estates Code available to small estates that declares the identities the decedent’s heirs. Although there is court involvement, the Texas Small Estate Affidavit is one of the least expensive procedures available to the decedent’s heirs as it is rare a hearing is required. This procedure is typically used when the decedent had no will or real estate** and his/her estate is small (i.e. the total value of all assets is less than $50,000*).

Who Signs the Small Estate Affidavit?

What Does a Small Estate Affidavit Accomplish?


We charge $750 to handle the Small Estate Affidavit. This price includes the filing fees (about $250) as well as the attorneys’ fees to prepare the Small Estate Affidavit and obtain the judge’s signature on the Order Approving the Small Estate Affidavit.

Not sure if the Small Estate Affidavit is what you need? Request a free consultation with our Texas probate lawyer.

Available When

  • No valid will (or the heirs and the beneficiaries agree to disregard)
  • The decedent’s estate is small (assets valued at $50,000* or less)
  • The decedent assets exceed his/her debts*
  • No real estate needs to be transferred to heirs**
  • Only non-real estate assets (i.e. bank accounts) need to be transferred
  • No administration of estate required
  • ALL heirs will sign (alive, willing and able)

NOT Recommended When

  • A Will exists (unless heirs & the beneficiaries agree to disregard)
  • The decedent’s estate is large (assets valued at $50,000 or more*)
  • The decedent’s debts exceed his/her assets*
  • Real estate needs to be transferred to heirs**
  • Administration of estate required
  • Some heirs cannot sign (dead, unknown location, or unwilling)
  • 30 days have NOT elapsed since the date of the decedent’s death
  • A personal representative has been appointed or is pending

*When calculating, exclude the value of homestead (if the decedent is survived by spouse and/or minor children) and other exempt property.
**The Small Estate Affidavit can be used to transfer ownership of the the decedent’s homestead to decedent’s surviving spouse and minor children