Q: My spouse passed away without a will and in order to access his bank account, I need to complete an Affidavit to Collect a Small Estate, do you have this form?

This tends to be one of the more common questions we get asked at the law library. If the personal property does not exceed $50,000 in value, then a simple transfer proceeding can be completed after a 40 day waiting period. See Probate Code §§ 13100-13115.

We found a sample affidavit form in Nolo’s How to Probate an Estate in California, Chapter 11. Chapter 11 discusses the procedures for transferring small estates under $150,000 in value.

For more information about transferring property without probate, you may access How to Probate an Estate in California online or in person at any of our branches or you may purchase last year’s edition which is currently on sale at our Chula Vista, El Cajon and Downtown San Diego Locations.