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For probating a will, what is the purpose for the affidavit for collection of personal property?

Los Angeles, CA |

In other words, why would a beneficiary use the foregoing document over probating a will via court.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You would use the affidavit as a way to avoid probate. Probate Code Section 13100 is a "small estate" exception to probate.


  2. Because of time and cost. If the estate is worth (for example) $140,000 and it's probated, then I am entitled to charge $5,200 to assist you with the probate. Add another $790 (or more) for court filing fees (2 hearings @ $395/ea) and $100 to $450 to file the required Notice of Petition for Probate with a newspaper and the cost would be at least $6,000 (plus, the executor can also charge $5,200 which would raise the probate cost to at least $11,200).

    On the other hand, you might be able to prepare the Affidavit yourself - or if you have a lawyer help you, the cost should still be $500 or less.

    So ... would you rather pay approximately $500 (for an affidavit) or $6,000 to $11,200 for a probate?

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.


  3. The attorneys above make excellent points. In addition to cost effectiveness, the affidavit is a much simpler process to have property of a decedent be confirmed to a beneficiary/heir. Probating a will generally takes a minimum of six months.

    This answer is provided solely for informational purposes only. Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, and/or constitute attorney advertising in any form whatsoever.

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