Seguin, TX asked in Estate Planning for Texas

Q: Is a Small Estate Affidavit only to be used if the deceased did not have a will?

My father did have a will which has already gone through the probate process. We are doing a stock transfer to my mothers name but we are being told we need a SEA for all accounts to move forward. From what I understand if a will was in place you cannot use a this correct? Thanks for your time!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Paul Premack
Paul Premack
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You are correct. A Small Estate Affidavit, pursuant to Texas statute, may only be used when the person died intestate (without a Will), and then only for non-real estate assets that do not exceed $75,000 in value (except for the homestead, which can be included and of higher value if passing to a spouse or dependent).

The Executor who was appointed under the probated Will should be able to present a document obtained from the court called "letters testamentary" to facilitate the stock transfer. If the Will was probated as a "Muniment of Title" then there will be no Executor, and any heir would present a certified copy of the Court's Order admitting the Will to Probate as a Muniment of Title along with a certified copy of the Will. Both would be obtained from the county clerk or probate clerk's office in the county where the Will was probated.

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