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Should you seek a Small Estate Act affidavit?

In Tennessee, estates under the value of $25,000 can be administered under the Small Estates Act. The administration of a small estate is less formal, but it should only be used in uncomplicated cases. For example, if your loved one passes away with only $20,000 and no debts, then handling the estate with the Small Estates Act would be feasible.

When you want to file a Small Estate Affidavit, there are a few things you need to do. You will need to show:

  • That the decedent lived in the county.
  • That the defendant left a will. If not, you will need to state that no will is present.
  • If the affiant has elected to provide notice to creditors.
  • The name, address, age and relationship of all heirs, legatees and devisees who may be entitled to property in the estate.
  • A description of the assets belonging to the decedent as well as the value of those assets.
  • A list of unpaid debts along with the mailing addresses of those creditors.

If you decide to pursue and file for a Small Estate Affidavit, then you should know that there is a bond requirement. A bond is asked for so that there is a form of insurance on the estate while it is being administered. The bond required is equal to the value of the estate to be administered.

Smaller estates may require less work, but they can still be complex. If you want to go through the Small Estate Act to administer your loved one's estate, you may wish to speak with an attorney first.

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