Personal Property

“Avoid Probate With The Collection Or Transfer of Small Estate with Personal Property by Affidavit or Declaration…”

An extremely powerful tool to collect the bank and brokerage accounts of a relative who has died is California Probate Code §13100.

In a nutshell, this law provides for the collection of the personal property, including bank and brokerage accounts, of a decedent by affidavit or declaration without going through probate.

The affidavit/declaration is made by the decedent’s “successors,” persons succeeding to the property by will or intestacy.

Without this, banks can hold the accounts “hostage,” unwilling to release the funds to anyone but the account holder who is no longer living.

The Requirements Are:

  1. This procedure is for personal property only, no real property (house, land, or real estate). Bank and brokerage accounts are considered personal property.
  2. The personal property and real property owned by decedent cannot exceed $150,000. (Property held in joint tenancy and trust are excluded from the total as are automobiles, boats and mobile homes.)
  3. If the estate of the decedent includes any real property in California, the affidavit/declaration is accompanied by an inventory and appraisal of the real property. The appraisal shall be made by a probate referee selected by the affiant from those probate referees appointed by the State.
  4. An original death certificate must be attached to the affidavit/declaration
  5. At least 40 days have passed since death
  6. No probate petition has been filed in probate court for the decedent’s estate

“What Makes This Such A Powerful Tool…”

  1. The affidavit/declaration is not filed with the court, just submitted to the financial institution which saves you time and a lot of hassle.
  2. A notary public’s certificate of acknowledgment identifying the person executing the affidavit/declaration is reasonable proof of identity of the person executing the affidavit or declaration, which means you do not have to run all over town and make personal appearances in court or at the bank.
  3. If the financial institution holding the decedent’s property refuses to pay, deliver, or transfer any personal property within a reasonable time, the successor may compel compliance by filing a complaint in Superior Court. The Successor is allowed to recover reasonable attorney fees.

We cover all of California.

“What It Costs…”

The total cost is $240 for one financial institution.  Total cost is $360 for two financial institutions and $80 for each additional financial institution. This is a flat rate and there are no “hidden fees.”

To begin and for more information call 949-474-0961 or email

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