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What is the purpose of an affidavit of death and heirship?

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Quick Answer

An affidavit of death and heirship is used to try and stop probate from happening after someone dies, according to Rocket Lawyer. This is often used when a traditional will and testament is not available for the deceased.

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Full Answer

The affidavit of heirship is needed when a close relative of the deceased wants to get ownership of the estate and avoid probate, or if there were no instructions on how to handle the estate, notes Rocket Lawyer. If this family member believes she should be the heir of the estate, she can fill out the affidavit form. It should also be used if all heirs are in agreement about how to distribute the person’s property. The affidavit is also sometimes used even if there was a will for the deceased but the will does not settle all property disputes and all heirs agree to the arrangements.

Once the affidavit is approved, the document is presented to brokers and banks to get access to the deceased's assets, explains Nolo. Since probate is a lengthy process, this is often the better option. To use the affidavit, the property has to be worth less than the local ceiling. It is not allowed when transferring real estate. If probate has begun, the heir might not be able to use the affidavit method.

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