New York Court Help

Surrogate's Court
Small Estate Affidavit Program

About the program
Information checklist
Computer requirements
Start the Small Estate Affidavit Program

About the program

The small estate administration is a simplified court procedure available if the person who died did not have many assets. You can ask the Surrogate’s Court to let you divide and give away their property to people who have a legal right to inherit.  To do this you need to file a form called an “Affidavit of Voluntary Administration,” also known as the “small estate affidavit.”  This free program will help you create the affidavit that you will need to file in Surrogate’s Court.

You can use this program:

  • If the person who died (also called “the decedent”) passed away between August 29, 1996 and December 31, 2008 AND had $20,000 or less in personal property (not land or buildings).
  • If the decedent passed away after January 1, 2009 AND had $30,000 or less in personal property.
  • If the decedent owned real property, he/she owned it jointly with someone else and you don’t plan to sell the real estate.

*** If the decedent owned real property only in his/her name, you cannot use this program.

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Information checklist

Before you begin, you will need the following to complete this program:

  • The name and address of the person who died (also called ďthe decedentĒ)
  • A certified copy of the death certificate
  • The name and address of the decedentís husband or wife, children, and grandchildren.
    • If the decedent did not have a husband or wife, children or grandchildren, the name and address of the decedentís father and mother.
    • If the decedentís parents are no longer living, the name and address of the decedentís siblings.
    • If the decedent's siblings are no longer living, then the name and address of the siblings' children.
    • If none of the above family members of the decedent are living, then the name and address of any aunt or uncle of the decedent.
  • The original Will, if the decedent had a Will, and the names and addresses of people mentioned in the Will.
  • If the decedent had assets, the value of each asset. You will need account numbers and serial numbers of assets. Assets may include the following: bank accounts (not joint accounts), investment accounts, insurance policies, and cars and boats
  • The decedentís unpaid creditors. This may include the following: credit card bills, utility bills, and funeral expenses

Download the checklist of information you will need to complete this program.

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Computer requirements

You must have the following on your computer to use this program:

  1. Adobe Flash to see the program. Download it now for free.
  2. Microsoft Word to properly view and print the completed court forms. If you do not have Word, you can download Word Viewer now for free and view and print Word documents, even if you donít have Word on your computer.

    Note: Microsoft WordPad is not the same as Microsoft Word. WordPad will cause problems with your documents.

See Frequently Asked Questions

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Small Estate Affidavit Program

Note: You will be taken to our partner website called LawHelp Interactive.

You can "Sign Up to Save Your Work" or go directly to the program without signing up by clicking on "Get Started" or "Go". Then check to agree to the Terms of Use and click on "Continue" to begin the program.

NYS DIY Forms are only for court users who don't have a lawyer and legal services and pro bono attorneys and staff helping clients who cannot afford lawyers. Commercial use is prohibited and no one may charge for using these programs. When you begin the program, you will be asked to accept these terms of use.

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This program was created by a partnership between the state courts and the civil justice community.

Last updated on April 24, 2014

 New York State Unified Court System
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