TN 14 (10-14)
GN 02315.080 South Dakota – Small Estates
A. Policy – South Dakota Small Estates
South Dakota law permits collection and distribution of small estates under $50,000 by affidavit. Section 29A-3-1201 of the South Dakota Codified Laws provides that after thirty 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 a 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;
The decedent has not incurred any indebtedness to the Department of Social Services for medical assistance for nursing home or other medical institutional care; and
The claiming successor is entitled to payment.
C. Effect of Affidavit
Section 29A-3-1202 of the South Dakota Codified Laws provides that the person paying the successor pursuant to an affidavit is discharged and released as if the person had dealt with the personal representative of the decedent, and 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.