Important Instructions

This form must be completed in its entirety. If it is not completely filled out, it will not be accepted. The form must be typed. We cannot accept handwritten forms.

You must use proper names, identify all heirs/beneficiaries, and provide addresses. You must include the dollar amount, special bequest item, and/or percentage that each heir/beneficiary is to receive. You must identify each bank account with:

  • name of the financial institution
  • the type of account (ie: savings account, checking account, etc)
  • the account number; and
  • amount of money in the account on the Decedent’s date of death.

If the Decedent owned a car, you must provide:

  • the make,
  • the model of the car,
  • the year,
  • and vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • a value for the car.

If the Decedent owned real estate, you must provide a description and a value. A description can be obtained from a tax ticket for the real estate (go to and follow the instructions) or possible from the county assessor’s web-site (especially its GIS map program). You don’t have to have a professional appraisal, but it is your choice.

WARNING: many lenders and title abstractors/lawyers, will NOT ACCEPT the conveyance of real property from a decedent to the heirs/beneficiaries through a Small Estate Procedure; they require that you probate the decedent’s estate, before they will accept that you are the owner. Their objection is that there has been no newspaper notice publication given to possible creditors.

REMEMBER: You must identify all probate assets that you want to take control over. The bank, or DMV, or other business to which you plan to present your “Small Estate Certificate and Authorization,” will want you to be specific in identifying the asset. If you have to come back to the Clerk’s Office for a revised “Small Estate Certificate and Authorization” form, you will be required to re-do the entire Affidavit and you will be charged again for all recording and mailing fees, because notices will need to be sent out again.