Colorado Small Estate Affidavit

The Colorado Small Estate Affidavit, officially referred to as Form JDF 999, “Collection of Personal Property by Affidavit,” gives a party known as the “successor” the authority to receive personal property that was originally owned by a deceased individual (hereafter referred to as the “decedent”). The form can only be used in situations where the individual that died had a total estate value (assets minus liabilities) of $69,000 (so long the person died after 2019). The form cannot be used for the purpose of transferring real estate. Before proceeding, an individual should ensure they familiarize themselves with the particular procedures state law mandates for this process, as specified in the section below.

Additional Considerations

It is vital to note that the maximum estate value in Colorado changes every one to three (1-3) years based on a cost of living adjustment (COLA). The calculation the Successor must refer to is dependent on the year of death of the decedent. Many online resources erroneously state that the maximum estate value is $66,000, but in fact, this amount only represents the amount prescribed if the decedent died in either 2018 or 2017. As the Colorado State Government states in the resource, “Cost of Living Adjustment of Certain Dollar Amounts for Property of Estates in Probate: Nominal and Indexed Amounts by Year of Death“, the maximum estate value was changed to $68,000 for a decedent whose year of death was 2019.

Another useful consideration to keep in mind is the availability of the free resource, “Instructions for Completing Affidavit for the Collection of Personal Property of a Decedent.” The two-page document was created by the Colorado Judicial Department to provide Successors with greater clarity about how to correctly file a Small Estate Affidavit. It is strongly recommended that Successors take the time to read the resource as it may strengthen their chances of their affidavit being accepted.

Laws & Required Conditions

Laws: § 15-12-1201

Maximum Estate Value: $69,000 if the decedent died in 2019; $66,000 if the decedent died in 2018 or 2017; $64,000 if the decedent died in 2016, 2015, or 2014.

Required Conditions: There are only three (3) requirements mandated by the state of Colorado, which are:

  1. At least ten (10) days have passed since the death of the decedent.
  2. The maximum value of the estate (as determined by the year of the decedent’s death) is not exceeded.
  3. No personal representative has or will be appointed.

It is also important to note that as the affidavit is only designed for the purpose of collecting personal property, it is prohibited to use it for the transfer of real estate.