New York Small Estates Affidavit

The New York Small Estates Affidavit (officially referred to as an “Affidavit of Voluntary Administration”), is a form provided by the state of New York to allow an individual to lawfully collect the small estate of a family member that passed away, who is officially known as the “decedent.” The person collecting the estate (the “Voluntary Administrator”) needs to be the designated claimant as stated by the decedent’s will or another rightful means. Overall, the form makes it possible for an individual with the lawful claim to a decedent’s small estate to fast-track its delivery to them, or, to use the words of the New York State Unified Court System, “The small estate administration is a simplified court procedure available if the person who died did not have many assets.”

Useful Resources

The New York State Unified Court System provides a checklist, the Small Estate Affidavit Information Checklist, to assist anyone wishing to execute a New York Small Estates Affidavit to do so correctly.

Laws & Required Conditions

Laws: § 1301 to § 1312

Maximum Estate Value: $30,000

Required Conditions: A New York Small Estates Affidavit (Affidavit of Voluntary Administration) may be lawfully executed if:

  • The estate is comprised of only personal property (although § 1302 provides that the decedent’s ownership of an interest in real property does not prevent the use of an affidavit in administering his or her personal property).
  • The person who seeks to become the Voluntary Administrator of the decedent’s estate qualifies for this position under § 1303.
  • The completed affidavit must be filed with the clerk of the court of the decedent’s domicile (home).
  • A certified copy of the death certificate of the decedent must be filed with the clerk.
  • The $1.00 filing fee that is charged for the clerk’s services must be paid.