Affidavit Regarding Real Property of Small Value ($50,000 or Less) DE-305

Posted By Joel Smith in Probate
Affidavit Regarding Real Property of Small Value ($50,000 or Less) DE-305

Affidavit Regarding Real Property of Small Value ($50,000 or Less) Form DE-305 Overview

When real estate valued by a court appointed appraiser, called a probate referee, is worth less than $50,000.00, this affidavit can be filed at the court to transfer property to the person(s) entitled to have it transferred to them, then recorded at the county recorder in the county where the real property is located. There is no hearing involved, just a trip to the probate clerk’s office and then the County Recorder. Unlike other probate procedures, this document cannot be filed sooner than 6 months from the date of death.

There are several steps to complete this process, but it does follow a standard State guideline. First you will want a copy of the most recent recorded property deed. You can get this from the County Recorder’s office. This is important as it will confirm who in fact is the current owner. In some situations, there may be other owners on the deed, and depending on how they are “vested”, will have bearing on what portion of the property can be transferred (the whole property, or just a fraction owned by the decedent).  Some people are also surprised to find their family member did not actually own the property, as it was sold or transferred either on purpose or by mistake years past.

Next, you will need the death certificate of the decedent. This document is required for filing and the affidavit requires information found on this certificate. An original certified copy is required (copies will not work) and this can also be obtained from the County Recorder’s office.

The court needs to confirm that the property value is in fact under the $50,000.00 limit and they do this by requiring a Probate Referee to appraise the property and complete an “Inventory and Appraisal. The forms are available at the court and must be completed and sent to a probate referee. A probate referee is an appraiser who is authorized by the State of California to complete appraisals for the court. They are tasked to complete the appraisal, not your court forms, so you will need to complete them prior to sending them to your appraiser. In many probate cases, the court will assign a probate referee to your case, but since this document/process is all completed before going to the court, you will select your own appraiser. They must be authorized by the court and specifically authorized for the county the property was located/where the decedent lived. Your local court will have a list of authorized appraisers on their website, and if not, you can see the California Probate Referee Directory here. Appraisers are all paid a Statutory Commission, so no need to price shop as they will all be the same price.  After they complete the appraisal they will send you an invoice, typically less than a few hundred dollars for these types of cases.

Now that you have your death certificate, inventory and appraisal and completed affidavit, you can notarize all signatures on the affidavit. Any California notary will do for this and currently the price for a signature by a notary in California is $15.

Now all your documents are completed, you can take a trip to the court. The probate court clerk will process all these documents, typically on the spot, and provide you back a copy with a court seal and order. You MUST obtain a certified copy. This is a special seal the court places on the document to confirm it is a true original from the court. More about that below. These filed documents are just the court making an order of the property transferring, but does not actually transfer the property. This affidavit and attachments must now go to the County Recorder. They will record the document which is what will update the property ownership records. For these types of transfers, the County Recorder requires a certified copy, noted above. You can then purchase copies of the completed and recorded transfer documents if the recorder does not provide one.  

The Costs for a California Affidavit Regarding Real Property of Small Value ($50,000 or Less)

Cost are subject to change based on current court fees, appraisers commission rates and county recording fees, but currently here is a close estimate of costs involved:

Inventory and Appraisal paid to Probate Referee: Give or take $200

Filing Fee at Probate Court: $30

Certified Copy Fee at Probate Court: About $25-$35

Recording Fee at County Recorder: About $25-$50

Copies of Recorded Documents at County Recorder: About $2-10

Checklist of Required Documents for an Affidavit Regarding Real Property of Small Value ($50,000 or Less)

Certified Death Certificate: Obtain at County Recorder’s Office

Inventory and Appraisal Documents: Found at Court or on Courts Website

Affidavit Regarding Real Property of Small Value ($50,000 or Less) Document – Form DE-305: Found at Court or on Courts Website or online

Help with Affidavit Regarding Real Property of Small Value ($50,000 or Less)

While this process is one of the easier probate processes in California, there are a few moving parts and potential to mess it up along the way. If you would rather have some professional assistance you can check out services providers in your area by following these links, and then refining by your city: Probate Attorneys in California. This type is small by nature so some attorneys may not handle this, or may have a minimum fee which is a bit high. You can also try Paralegals in California (officially and legally known as Legal Document Assistants) for some more affordable pricing.

This article should not be taken as legal advice. This is a procedural overview and the information stated here may not be current or up to date at all times. You should always consult with an attorney to confirm your rights and responsibilities.

About the Author:

Joel Smith

Joel Smith is a lead SEO representative helping clients boost their online business presence. ... View full business profile here: Joel Smith

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