Alabama Small Estate Affidavit

The Alabama Small Estate Affidavit enables the spouse, family member, or other rightful heir of a deceased person (the “decedent”) to lawfully collect the personal property of their small estate (so long the maximum value of the estate is not more than $25,000). If the decedent did not leave a will before passing, the heir will have to prove they are the only remaining blood relative to the decedent. To use the document, the form must first be completed and verified. It must then be filed in the same manner that is noted below.

Laws & Requirements

Laws: § 43-2-692

Maximum Estate Value: $25,000

Required Conditions: It is stipulated by state law that a proceeding for summary distribution of the estate may be initiated by a surviving spouse or the distributees of an estate of personal property provided that all of the following is true:

  • The Decedent died a resident of Alabama.
  • There is no preexisting or pending petition for the appointment of a personal representative.
  • A verified petition has been filed in the office of the judge of probate of the county in which the decedent was domiciled at death.
  • Thirty (30) days have elapsed since “the notice of the filing of the petition was published.”
  • The petition alleges the conditions stipulated in § 43-2-692(b).
  • The petition only includes personal property and does not include real estate.
  • A description of the estate of the decedent is evident in the petition.
  • Funeral expenses of the decedent have been paid or the funeral will be paid for not using estate funds.
  • No unresolved claims against the decedent’s estate exist, or if they do, they are in the process of being resolved as per the guidelines stated in § 43-2-692(b)(9).
  • A judge of probate has determined, on an as-needed basis, any awards due to the surviving spouse and to the child/ren, as provided under Alabama descent and distribution statutes.
  • A notice has been published in a county newspaper of general circulation in the county the Decedent resided pertaining to the fact that the petition was filed. The notice must subsequently have been posted at the county courthouse for one week.