Affidavit real property of small value less than $50,000
Executors of Wills, Successor Trustees and heirs can use the “Affidavit Real Property of Small Value” (the “Affidavit”). The Affidavit is a powerful and inexpensive tool to avoid probate and save time for real property valued at less than $50,000.
Transfer of real property from decedent to heirs is a two step procedure. First step is to obtain authority from the Court. The second step is to record the ownership change with the County Recorder.
Court authorization to transfer the timeshare from the decedent to the heirs is requested on Judicial Council Form “Affidavit Re Real Property of Small Value.” No court hearing is needed. Attached to the Affidavit are; a certificate of death, Will, trust, last vesting deed, and an “Inventory and Appraisal.”
State appointed probate referees determine the market value as of date of death. The probate referee completes and signs the Inventory and Appraisal. If the probate referee determines the market value is less than $50,000 the Affidavit and Inventory and Appraisal are filed with the Clerk of the Court. The Court Clerk returns a signed certified copy of the Affidavit.
For the second state a deed is prepared transferring ownership of the real property from the decedent to his or her heirs. The Affidavit and Deed are filed with the County Recorderwhere the real property is located.
Additional requirements for use of transfer by affidavit are the lapse of six months from decedent’s death and the gross value of real property in California cannot exceed $50,000. Also there can no other proceeding in California probate court.
How executors of Wills, Successor Trustees and heirs of a decedent can use “Affidavit Real Property of Small Value” to avoid formal probate, save time and save money. Transfer by Affidavit is available for real property in California with a market value less than $50,000.
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Oil and Gas Leases
Executors of Wills, successor trustees and heirs can use the “Affidavit Real Property of Small Value” (the “Affidavit”) to change the payee of oil and gas leases. The Affidavit is a powerful and inexpensive tool to avoid probate and save time for oil and gas leases valued at less than $50,000.
Many Californians own an interest in an oil and gas lease. The lease is a separate and distinct ownership interest in oil and natural gas found below the surface of real property owned by someone else. The lease provides a revenue stream to the owner.
After the owner has died the leasing company continues to make checks payable to the decedent. These checks cannot be deposited or cashed into a bank account. Most often the revenue stream is a few hundred dollars a month.
Many heirs are tempted to walk away from these payments because of the complexity of changing ownership. But the small revenue stream is an opportunity. Most often the appraised value of this small revenue stream is less than $50,000.
A state appointed probate referee determines the market value of the lease as of date of death. If the probate referee determines the market value is less than $50,000 the Affidavit, a certificate of death, legal description and an Inventory and Appraisal are filed with the Clerk of the Court.
The Court Clerk returns a signed certified copy of the Affidavit. The affidavit is recorded with County Recorder. A copy of the recorded Affidavit is provided to the leasing agent. The affidavit identifies the heirs as owners and payees.
An oil and gas lease owned by a decedent may be transferred to heirs by an “Affidavit Real Property of Small Value.” The Affidavit is economical and efficient. The Affidavit changes the payee from the decedent to the heirs so monthly lease checks can be deposited.
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