Small Estate Affidavit
A “Small Estate Affidavit” is another property transfer document to consider. It can transfer homestead real property and other assets that a deceased person left behind much like a deed or title can.
In order to qualify for a Small Estate Affidavit, an estate must have less than $75,000 of total assets (not including homestead real property). Many estates do not meet these requirements and need to transfer property using another method.
Procedurally, a Small Estate Affidavit is a lot like an Affidavit of Heirship in that both require a third party to swear that there are no debts and that the heirs have all been identified, etc.
The primary difference is that it is submitted to the probate court for approval and validation, whereas an Affidavit of Heirship is simply recorded on a county’s real property records. Because of the judicial validation of a Small Estate Affidavit, it carries more weight, and is hence more respected as a property transfer document. As a result, Texas title companies are less reluctant to insure real property that has transferred by a Small Estate Affidavit.