Wills and Estates – Small Estates – Idaho
Small Estates General Summary: Small Estate laws were enacted in order to enable heirs to obtain property of the deceased without probate, or with shortened probate proceedings, provided certain conditions are met. Small estates can be administered with less time and cost. If the deceased had conveyed most property to a trust but there remains some property, small estate laws may also be available. Small Estate procedures may generally be used regardless of whether there was a Will. In general, the two forms of small estate procedures are recognized:
1. Small Estate Affidavit -Some States allow an affidavit to be executed by the spouse and/or heirs of the deceased and present the affidavit to the holder of property such as a bank to obtain property of the deceased. Other states require that the affidavit be filed with the Court. The main requirement before you may use an affidavit is that the value of the personal and/or real property of the estate not exceed a certain value.
2. Summary Administration -Some states allow a Summary administration. Some States recognize both the Small Estate affidavit and Summary Administration, basing the requirement of which one to use on the value of the estate. Example: If the estate value is 10,000 or less an affidavit is allowed but if the value is between 10,000 to 20,000 a summary administration is allowed.
Under Idaho statute, where as estate is valued at less than $100,000, an interested party may, thirty (30) days after the death of the decedent, issue a small estate affidavit to collect any debts owed to the decedent.
Indiana requirements are set forth in the statutes below.
CHAPTER 3 PROBATE OF WILLS AND ADMINISTRATION
PART 12.COLLECTION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY BY AFFIDAVIT
AND SUMMARY ADMINISTRATION PROCEDURE FOR SMALL ESTATES
15-3-1201. COLLECTION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY BY AFFIDAVIT.
(a) Thirty (30) days after the death of a decedent, any person indebted to the decedent or having possession of tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock or chose in action belonging to the decedent shall make payment of the indebtedness or deliver the tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock or chose in action to a person or entity claiming to be the successor of the decedent upon being presented an affidavit made by or on behalf of the successor stating that:
(1) The fair market value of the entire estate of the decedent which is subject to probate, wherever located, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000);
(2) Thirty (30) days have elapsed since the death of the decedent;
(3) No application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative or for summary administration is pending or has been granted in any jurisdiction; and
(4) The claiming successor is entitled to payment or delivery of the property, including entitlement as a trust pursuant to a will of the decedent.
(b) A transfer agent of any security shall change the registered ownership on the books of a corporation from the decedent to the successor or successors upon the presentation of an affidavit as provided in subsection (a) of this section.
(c) For the purposes of this section, for the recovery of medical assistance, the department of health and welfare shall be deemed a successor to the estate provided:
(1) Prior to the presentation of the affidavit, the department shall give notice, by regular mail, to any person known to the department to be an heir, successor or creditor of the estate, and the department shall certify such notice in writing to the person described in subsection (a) of this section.
(2) Within sixty (60) days of mailing the notice, any person who claims the right to reimbursement for priority estate expenses, as permitted by section 15-3-805(a)(1) through (4), Idaho Code, may submit a written demand for payment of such expenses, together with any documentation of the expenses, to the department. Upon receipt of the funds, and up to the amount received, the department shall pay priority claims which it determines would be allowed in a probate proceeding, if any. The department shall notify each claimant of the disposition of his claim. The provisions of chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code, shall apply to determinations made by the department under this section.
15-3-1202. Effect of affidavit.
The person paying, delivering, transferring, or issuing personal property or the evidence thereof pursuant to affidavit is discharged and released to the same extent as if he dealt with a personal representative of the decedent. He is not required to see to the application of the personal property or evidence thereof or to inquire into the truth of any statement in the affidavit. If any person to whom an affidavit is delivered refuses to pay, deliver, transfer, or issue any personal property or evidence thereof, it may be recovered or its payment, delivery, transfer, or issuance compelled upon proof of their right in a proceeding brought for the purpose by or on behalf of the persons entitled thereto. Any person to whom payment, delivery, transfer or issuance is made is answerable and accountable therefor to any personal representative of the estate or to any other person having a superior right.
15-3-1203. SMALL ESTATES — SUMMARY ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE.
If it appears from the inventory and appraisal that the value of the entire estate, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed homestead allowance, exempt property, costs and expenses of administration, reasonable funeral expenses, and reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent, the personal representative, without giving notice to creditors, may immediately disburse and distribute the estate to the persons entitled thereto and file a closing statement as provided in section 15-3-1204 of this part.
15-3-1204. SMALL ESTATES — CLOSING BY SWORN STATEMENT OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE.
(a) Unless prohibited by order of the court and except for estates being administered by supervised personal representatives, a personal representative may close an estate administered under the summary procedures of section 15-3-1203 of this part by filing with the court, at any time after disbursement and distribution of the estate, a verified statement that:
(1) To the best knowledge of the personal representative, the value of the entire estate, less liens and encumbrances, did not exceed homestead allowance, exempt property, costs and expenses of administration, reasonable funeral expenses, and reasonable, necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent;
(2) The personal representative has fully administered the estate by disbursing and distributing it to the persons entitled thereto; and
(3) The personal representative has sent a copy of the closing statement to all distributees of the estate and to all creditors or other claimants of whom he is aware whose claims are neither paid nor barred and has furnished a full account in writing of his administration to the distributees whose interests are affected.
(b) If no actions or proceedings involving the personal representative are pending in the court one (1) year after the closing statement is filed, the appointment of the personal representative terminates.
(c) A closing statement filed under this section has the same effect as one filed under section 15-3-1003 of this code.
15-3-1205. SUMMARY ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES IN WHICH A SURVIVING SPOUSE IS THE SOLE BENEFICIARY.
(a) Upon the testate or intestate death of a person leaving a surviving spouse as the sole devisee or beneficiary, the surviving spouse (or any person claiming title to any property through or under such surviving spouse) may file a verified petition setting out marriage and the death of a person leaving a surviving spouse as the sole devisee or heir. If the decedent died testate, the petition must be accompanied by the original of the last will and testament of the decedent. Notice of hearing shall be given pursuant to the provisions of section 15-1-401, Idaho Code.
(b) If it shall appear at such hearing that the decedent and the person claimed to be the surviving spouse were duly married and that the surviving spouse is the sole heir or devisee, a decree shall be made to that effect. This decree shall thereafter have the same effect as a formal decree approving or determining distribution. The petitioner, or the surviving spouse, or both, need not appear in person at such hearing, nor must an attorney for the petitioner spouse appear in person at such hearing. The petitioner or the attorney for the petitioner, or both, may either:
(1) Upon proper motion made by the petitioner, appear telephonically; or
(2) Submit one (1) or more affidavits in advance of the hearing certifying that notice of hearing was given as required by law and that no objection to the entering of the decree has been received by the petitioner or the attorney for the petitioner.
(c) In the event that the surviving spouse (or person claiming through or under the surviving spouse) shall elect to proceed under this section, the surviving spouse shall assume and be liable for any and all indebtedness that might be a claim against the estate of the decedent and there will be no administration of the estate of the decedent.