Can probate be avoided after death?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can probate be avoided after death?

My 25 year old son passed away 2 weeks ago. He was not married, no children. He had 1 auto loan that we paid off last week. He had no other liabilities. The only assets he owned were 2 cars and a checking account. Can probate be avoided?

Asked on March 6, 2018 under Estate Planning, Indiana


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes it can. In a case in which only a few assets of low value are left, there are 2 options: a small estate procedure or a simple affidavit. With the affidavit, heirs or beneficiaries can skip probate altogether if the value of the assets is at or under $50,000. All an inheritor has to do is prepare a short document, stating that they are entitled to a certain asset. This document, an affidavit, is signed under oath. It just need be presented to the person/entity as approriate. The small estate procedure is used for real estate and/or assets over $50,000 but does not seem needed for the estate that you have described.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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