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Transferring Estate Property after Death: Probate and Affidavits Category: Courts and Procedure


If the decedent left a will, it usually names a person to be the personal representative of the estate, called an “executor” or “administrator” who will conduct an inventory and accounting, pay the estate’s debts and taxes, and distribute the estate’s assets. If there is no will, the probate court will appoint an administrator to do these same tasks.

Not all estates must go through probate.

  • If the estate is in a trust, the successor trustee takes over and distributes the property according to the terms in the trust document.
  • If more than one person is on title to the property, the survivor may be able to update the title with an affidavit, instead of a probate court case. This applies to joint tenancy and community real estate, vehicles, and things like joint bank accounts.
  • If the person’s assets add up to less than the statutory amount ($166,250 for deaths before April 1, 2022; $184,000 after April 1, 2022), the heirs may be able transfer the property by affidavit. See our guide on Small Estate Affidavits (also called Affidavits for Collection of Personal Property) for forms and instructions.


Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property
Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant
Affidavit of Death of Trustee
Affidavit of Death: Transfer on Death (TOD) Deed
Affidavit of Surviving Spouse or Domestic Partner
Small Estate Affidavit (Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property)
Transfer on Death (TOD) Notice to Heirs
Transfer on Death (TOD) Deed
California’s Transfer on Death deed: One option to avoid probate on your home

Homeowners often want to leave their home to children, partners, or others without forcing them to go through the probate court after the owner dies. There are several ways to set this up this in California. Living trusts are a great option, but usually require a lawyer and a lot...

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Affidavits of Death: Transferring Property without Probate after an Owner Dies

Owners of real estate can plan ahead to allow the real estate to be transferred without probate after their death. This article discusses how the new owners can remove the deceased owner from title and obtain title in their own name after the owner's death. Unless one of these estate...

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Changing, Adding, or Removing People from Title to Real Estate

Different situations require different information. Choose the situation you are looking for:

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Sacramento County Assessor’s Office

The Assessor is responsible for locating taxable property in the County, assessing the value, identifying the owner, and publishing annual and supplemental assessment rolls., Assessor’s Parcel Viewer: Use Parcel Viewer to view property maps, parcel information and recent sales.

Transferring Title to Beneficiaries after a Transfer on Death Deed Takes Effect

Recent Changes to the Law Beginning in 2022, clearing the title after a TOD transferor dies became more complicated. Instead of just filing a simple affidavit, you must take a number of steps, outlined in this guide. Background The “Revocable Transfer on Death Deed,” also called “TOD Deed” or “beneficiary...

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Transfer on Death (TOD) Deed: Naming Beneficiaries and Revoking TOD Deeds

Background The “Revocable Transfer on Death Deed,” also called “TOD Deed” or “beneficiary deed,” is a simple way to leave a residence to your beneficiaries without the need for probate. The current owner or “transferor” names the intended heirs as “beneficiaries.” The deed has no effect until the transferor dies,...

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Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property (Small Estate Affidavit)

Procedures in this guide apply only to personal property valued under $166,250/$184,500 This guide only applies to personal property (money and moveable property like jewelry, vehicles, tools, etc.) For Real Property valued under $166,250 (4/1/2022) or or $184,500 (4/2/2022), you cannot use this form, but there may be alternatives to...

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