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What is the difference in getting an affidavit of heir ship…

What is the difference in...
What is the difference in getting an affidavit of heir ship verses gaining ownership through the probate court? I'm currently involved in splitting assets from a deceased relative and the other siblings want an affidavit of heirship?
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Answered in 15 minutes by:
3/27/2018
Sean K
Sean K, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 443
Experience: Attorney/Member in Private Law Firm
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Hi, I’m Sean and I will be assisting you as an expert today. I’m an attorney with more than 20 years of experience. It is my goal to provide a solid overview of your situation. Whether the analysis is good or bad as to your matter, I want to make sure you understand any points you need and that you have options to better address the questions you have. If I am able, I will also provide you with some resources. Please note that the system, independent from me, may offer a phone call. You are not obligated to engage in a phone call, but I am happy to speak if you desire. This is completely up to you.

Affidavits of Heirship are pretty straightforward if everyone agrees and can keep the process out of probate. You would need to have everyone sign off on the affidavit and have it witnessed and notarized.

Let me also ask this, what is the net value of the estate? I ask because if the estate is under $25,000 then a very basic application can be made with a $50 fee and the matter would quickly go through probate and be concluded with the assets divided.

As well, the Affidavit of Heirship generally only applies when the estates qualify as small estates and if done can cause the probate process to be bypassed. That having been said, I generally tell people that if you can accomplish the same thing quickly via the small estate petition, get it resolved almost as fast and have minimal cost (it can be done without an attorney) and it ends up coming from the Probate Court, it generally makes more sense to do it this way and not have to worry about it later being challenged. i have attached an overview here of the Small Estate Act.

Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. There is no specific course of action is proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege formed within this conversation.

If you have any follow up questions it would be my pleasure to answer them. As experts we only get credit for the time and effort we spend on our answers if you rate us positively - 5 stars is definitely appreciated but not required! There is no cost associated with you rating me and you can still ask follow up questions after rating me and I will respond.

One final point, there may be a delay between your question and my answer; this is because I'm either not at my computer or helping someone else but rest assured, if you ask, I will provide an answer. Thank you again.

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Customer reply replied 27 days ago
Ok, well how will this process affects me if the other siblings are trying to cut me out of my inheritance? I'm not sure exactly what assets are there other than a vehicle and some farm equipment. But they have stated that they dont want me to have anything but want me to sign this affidavit with them. I don't want to sign something that's going to allow them to disburse my inheritance unequally.

So if you were to sign off on the affidavit, the only way you should even contemplate doing that is if the division is as you want it. The process is for small estates, and it sounds like the estate in question is that, but in Alabama, if there is no will, assets should be divided equally, particularly if you are all of the same group - siblings here as you put it.

With that, it becomes a little more clear for me to say what the difference is - if you go through probate, it will be done under Alabama probate law, which if only a group of siblings are heirs, it would be done equally. If the Affidavit was used and Probate was avoided, then the Affidavit would control and if it was not equal and signed by you, then you would not get anything.

If there is a chance they are trying to cut you out, unless you are good with not sharing in the estate, don't sign anything.

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Customer reply replied 27 days ago
Thank you I'm not signing it! What do you suggest I do now?

I would tell the others what you want and if they give it to you, you would sign off. If not, let them know to tell you when the probate process starts so you can put in a claim with the probate court. Hopefully that will shake it lose.

5 star ratings are always appreciated and you can ask questions after you rate me.

Sean K
Sean K, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 443
Experience: Attorney/Member in Private Law Firm
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