TN 14 (10-14)
GN 02315.072 North Dakota – Small Estates
A. Policy – North Dakota Small Estates
North Dakota law permits collection and distribution of small estates under $50,000 by affidavit. Section 30.1-23-01 of the North Dakota Century Code provides that after 30 days have elapsed since the decedent’s death, any person indebted to the decedent shall make payment of the indebtedness to a person claiming to be the successor of the decedent upon being presented an affidavit made by or on behalf of the successor.
B. Contents of Affidavit
The affidavit must state that:
The value of the entire estate, wherever located, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed $50,000;
Thirty (30) days have elapsed since the death of the decedent;
No application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted in any jurisdiction; and
The claiming successor is entitled to payment.
C. Effect of Affidavit
Section 30.1-23-02 of the North Dakota Century Code provides that the person paying the successor pursuant to an affidavit is discharged and released to the extent as if that person dealt with the personal representative of the decedent. The person is not required to inquire into the truth of any statement in the affidavit. If any person to whom an affidavit is delivered refuses to pay, payment may be compelled through judicial process. Any person to whom payment is made is answerable and accountable therefore to any personal representative of the estate or to any other person having a superior right.
Note that the entire Section “C. Policy – summary administration by personal representative” has been deleted. This section is based on North Dakota Century Code sections 30.1-23-03 through 04, which deal with the closing of an estate by a personal representative, and are therefore not applicable to the underpayment of benefits, by SSA.