my childrens father died sept. 08 with no will. He has very little assests. a vehicle and a boat not totaling up to 6000.00? how do they claim it?

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my childrens father died sept. 08 with no will. He has very little assests. a vehicle and a boat not totaling up to 6000.00? how do they claim it?

Asked on June 11, 2009 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are times when the full administration of an estate does not make much sense.  In Texas, there is an alternative to the administration process when someone dies intestate (without a will).

If the decedent had no Will, and the total value of the estate, with certain exceptions, was less than $50,000, then you can file an affidavit with the probate court of proper jurisdiction (i.e., in the county where the decedent was a resident), stating who the proper heirs of the estate would be, using the heirship rules of Texas Probate Code Section 38.  Two disinterested witnesses have to swear to the heirship information contained in the affidavit.  The small estate affidavit rout is very inexpensive (the filing cost in most counties is less than $75) and in many cases can be done without the involvement of an attorney.

Upon approval of the affidavit by the probate court, all persons or entities dealing with distributees of assets from the small estate are released to the same extent as if they dealt with a personal representative of the estate.  Distributees can bring action to force delivery of the estate property and the distributees will be liable to any creditors or anyone else having a prior right to the property. 

I have provided a link for you that will explain how to go about doing this further:  http://www.co.travis.tx.us/probate/pdfs/small_estate_affidavit_checklist.pdf

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