A small estate affidavit is only an option when there is no Will, and it would pass the property to the heirs of the deceased. If you have a Will and there are no Debts owed by the estate, other than those secured by an interest in real property (like a mortgage), consider probating the Will as Muniment of Title.


  1. Peggy Steadman

    I paid an atty $5,808.00 to help me with the paper work to get my mom Medicaid benefits. She only owned two things a life insurance policy for $5000.00 and a small mineral rights that paid off approx. 250.00 a year. This atty sd I must purchase these from my mom in order for her to qualify for Medicaid. I did that very thing. I paid her $ 940.00 for the mineral rights and I paid her $2,306.25 for the insurance policy. Which that made me the owner of the policy. In all of the paper work I had to furnish for the previous 5 years, I failed to see who the beneficiary on the insurance policy was, which the atty never called to my attention. Even though he filed all the paper work with Mutual of Omaha for me. Well, the beneficiary was my dad who passed away 3 years before all of this.

    My parents lived with me since 1999. I was the only caretaker, my sister did not want to help and did not help.

    She is willing to sign the small estate affidavit and sign this insurance policy over to me. So with all that being said, my question is on the form I am intend to file with Houston County, Crockett, Tx, can I put my share at 100% and hers at 0%.

    I paid for her funeral expenses which were over $6,000, and I would like to recover some of my money. I have already filed this once and the Judge denied it because I submitted a notarized letter from my sister saying she did not want anything of my mothers and that I was entitled to it. My mistake was not having her on the signature page that was notarized. I have already paid the county $259.00 and I think I have everything I need this time.

    My sister is hard to catch, so time is short, she lives in a travel trailer and right now, until Oct 28th she is local and I can get her signature.

    Thank you

    Peggy Steadman

  2. Michell Bradie

    A Small Estate Affidavit is based on a distribution according to the laws of intestacy. Parties may not “agree” to change that. It makes no difference who is more deserving, who cared for the loved one more that another person, who is willing to allow someone else to take a bigger or different share, or even if one person loved the deceased and the other person was estranged from them and disliked them. Distribution passes according to the law, and you can’t change that. Once the distribution has been made, the parties are welcome to gift or sell what they have to anyone else that they wish, or not. That has nothing to do with the court, and requires no approval by the Judge. So, your sister needs to sign to receive her intestate share, and then after that has been determined and distributed according to the Small Estate Affidavit, she can gift it back to you if she whishes. However, if you include that she is waiving her interest and giving it to you in the paperwork that you are submitting to the Judge, it will be denied again, since you can’t change intestacy.

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