By Abigail Neal, Arizona Probate Lawyer
Transferring Arizona Personal Property Without Probate
In Arizona, probate may be avoided using a small estate probate Affidavit is the value of all of the deceased’s personal property is $75,000 or less. This means that instead of having to open a probate proceeding, a simple Affidavit may be used to transfer the deceased person’s personal property. Personal property includes items like clothing, furniture, jewelry, artwork, collectibles and vehicles. Arizona Revised Statues § 14-3971(B) states the requirements to transfer personal property via a small estate Probate Affidavit:
Any person indebted to the deceased person or having possession of tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock or chose in action belonging to the deceased person shall make payment of the amount owed or deliver the tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock or chose in action to a person claiming to be the successor of the deceased person upon being presented an affidavit made by or on behalf of the successor that states that all of the following are true:
1. Thirty days have elapsed since the death of the decedent.
(a) An application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is not pending and a personal representative has not been appointed in any jurisdiction and the value of all personal property in the deceased person’s estate, wherever located, less liens and encumbrances, is less than or equal to $75,000 as valued as of the date of death.
(b) A probate action has been started and the personal representative has been discharged or more than one year has elapsed since a closing statement has been filed and the value of all personal property in the decedent’s estate, wherever located, less liens and encumbrances, is less than or equal to $75,000 as valued as of the date of the affidavit.
Wages owed to the deceased person may also be transferred to the deceased person’s surviving spouse using this Affidavit. Arizona Revised Statues § 14-3971(A) states:
At any time after a person’s death, any employer owing wages, salary or other compensation for personal services of the deceased person must pay the deceased person’s surviving spouse the amount owed, less than or equal to $5,000, when presented an affidavit made by or on behalf of the spouse stating that the person signing the affidavit is the surviving spouse of the deceased person, or is authorized to act on behalf of the spouse, and that no application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted in Arizona or, if granted, the personal representative has been discharged or more than one year has elapsed since a closing statement has been filed.
The person who signs the small estate probate Affidavit must state that all statements in the Affidavit are true and material and acknowledge that any false statement in the Affidavit may subject the person or persons to penalties relating to perjury and subornation of perjury.
Preparing a Small Estate Affidavit for Personal Property
A small estate affidavit to transfer personal property needs to include the following:
A. The name of the deceased person, when they passed away and the county where the person lived when he or she passed;
B. That 30 days have passed since the person died;
C. The relationship between the deceased and the person completing the affidavit;
D. That no probate is currently pending in any state nor has a personal representative been appointed (or if one was appointed, that the PR has been discharged or the estate has been closed for more than one year;
E. That the value of the personal property does not exceed $75,000;
F. The name of the person taking title to the property and why the person is entitled to the property;
G. If anyone else has an interest in the property (get assignments as necessary and attach them to the affidavit);
H. Whether there was a Will (a copy of the Will needs to be attached to the affidavit);
I. A description of the property, including the location and value; and
J. A list of the debts owed to the deceased person (if any).
The affidavit does not need to be filed with the court. The person who signs the affidavit needs to present the affidavit and any attachments to the person or entity holding the property to effectuate the transfer.
Hire Powers & Neal to Prepare a Small Estate Probate Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property
Powers & Neal will:
1. Prepare the small estate Probate Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property,
2. Provide you with Assignments of Inheritance Interest (if appropriate), and
3. Instruct you what to do with the Affidavit after it is complete.
Our flat fee for the above services is $400. To hire us to prepare a small estate Probate Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property, call Arizona probate attorney Abigail Neal at (480) 699-7992 to get started.
Learn more about Arizona probate law.