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What is a Small Estate Affidavit?

Using a Small Estate Affidavit To Avoid Probate.

The small estate affidavit, under 55 ILCS 5/Art. XXV Small Estates, is a convenient way to transfer property after someone dies. For instance, if a person owned a car at the time of his death, the surviving family members may want to sell or give that car away. The family may be able to use a small estate affidavit to sell the car, rather than opening up a probate estate in court. The sale may be valid by simply completing a small estate affidavit, rather than waiting for a probate court to approve the sale. Therefore, a small estate affidavit can be an important tool to the family of a deceased person.

In Illinois, a small estate affidavit may be used whenever the total assets in the deceased person’s estate are less than $100,000. However, a small estate affidavit cannot be used to transfer real property, like a home or a parcel of land. If you are an heir to an estate, Grant Park Legal Advisors encourages you to contact an attorney to determine whether you can use a small estate affidavit to transfer property.

The forms are generally easy to follow and understand. You will need to identify the person who died and the family members that survive. You will also need to state whether the person who died had a will. You will need to list the beneficiaries of the will. The form also asks information about the deceased person’s debts. You will also need to attach a certified copy of the death certificate to the small estate affidavit.

At Grant Park Legal Advisors, we frequently guide clients through the drafting and execution of small estate affidavits. First, we determine whether our clients can use a small estate affidavit or if they will need to open a probate estate in court. Our attorneys review the assets of the estate with you to help make this determination. Our goal is to assist you in settling an estate in an efficient and timely matter. We understand that the time after the death of a loved one is filled with emotion, and it can be extremely stressful to take care of the bills and assets of the deceased person.

If a small estate affidavit is a possibility for the estate of your loved one, we will ensure that you are aware of this possibility. Grant Park Legal Advisors can draft the small estate affidavit for you, or we can assist you in completing the state and county forms yourself. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your situation with a qualified Chicago Estate Planning attorney, please do not hesitate to contact us.



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332 S. Michigan Avenue, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604
| Phone: 312-392-0310
18700 S. Wolf Road, 250, Mokena, IL 60448
| Phone: 815-412-9377

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