Utah law allows someone handling the estate of a person who died (the decedent) with a "small estate" to use a small estate affidavit to collect personal property (such as money in a bank account, jewelry, clothing, and furniture) instead of going through the probate process. Utah Code 75-3-1201.
There is a separate affidavit that can be used to claim title to up to four boats, motor vehicles, trailers, or semi-trailers registered under Utah law. This affidavit is presented to the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles to transfer title of those vehicles or boats.
A small estate affidavit is not filed with the court. Instead, the decedent's successor fills out the form, signs it in front of a notary, and gives it to any third parties, such as the bank.
A small estate affidavit may be used if:
- the entire value of the estate is under $100,000,
- there is no real property,
- at least 30 days have passed since the death, and
- no application for appointment of personal representative has been filed.
A small estate affidavit cannot be used to transfer title to real property like land or a house.
If the estate does not meet the requirements listed above, it may be necessary to open a probate case instead. See the Informal Probate web page for information about that process.
- Department of Motor Vehicle Survivorship Affidavit (vehicle).