Identification Number:
GN 02315 TN 19
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Small Estate Statutes
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part GN – General
Chapter 023 – Underpayments
Subchapter 15 – Small Estate Statutes
Transmittal No. 19, 10/09/2020

Audience

PSC: CA, IES, RECONR, SCPS;
OCO-OEIO: CR, CTE, FCR, RECONR;
OCO-ODO: BTE, CS, CST, CTE, CTE TE, PAS, PETE, PETL, RCOVTA, RECOVR;
FO/TSC: CS, CS TII, CSR, CTE, FR, OA, OS, RR, TA, TSC-CSR;

Originating Component

OISP

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

This is a Quick Action Transmittal. These revisions do not change or introduce new policy or procedure.

On January 1, 2020, the dollar amount of a decedent’s real and personal property constituting a “small estate,” excluding the property described in Section 13050, increased to $166,250. The change applies if the decedent dies prior to April 1, 2022.

Summary of Changes

GN 02315.041 California Small Estates

Subsection A – We updated this section to increase the dollar amount of a decedent's real and personal property constituting a "small estate" from $150,000 to $166,250.

 

GN 02315.200 Affidavit Showing Right to Receive Money Under Section 13100 of the California Probate Code - Exhibit

We updated number (3) to increase the gross value of the decedent's real and personal property in California from $150,000 to $166,250.

GN 02315.041 California Small Estates

A. Policy for no letters of administration

1. Basic California statute

Pursuant to CAL. PROB. CODE §13100 (2014), if the gross value of the decedent's real and personal property in the state of California, excluding property described in California Probate Code Section 13050, does not exceed one hundred sixty-six thousand two hundred fifty dollars ($166,250) and if 40 days have elapsed since his or her death, the successor of the decedent may, without procuring letters of administration or awaiting probate of the will, do any of the following with respect to one or more particular items of property:

  • collect any money due the decedent;

  • receive any item of property that is tangible personal property of the decedent; or

  • have any item of property that is evidence of a debt, obligation, interest, right, security or chose in action belonging to the decedent transferred, whether or not secured by a lien on real property.

    The person(s) executing the affidavit or declaration as successor of the decedent are entitled to have the property described in the affidavit or declaration paid, delivered, or transferred to them.

    If the holder of the decedent’s property refuses to pay, deliver, or transfer any personal property thereof to the successor of the decedent within a reasonable time, the successor may recover the property or compel its payment, delivery, or transfer in an action brought for that purpose against the holder of the property.

2. California affidavit or declaration

To collect money, receive tangible personal property, or have evidences transferred under this statute, an affidavit or a declaration under penalty of perjury will be furnished to the holder of the decedent's property stating all of the following:

  1. a. 

    The decedent's name;

  2. b. 

    The date and place of the decedent's death;

  3. c. 

    “At least 40 days have elapsed since the death of the decedent, as shown in a certified copy of the decedent’s death certificate attached to this affidavit or declaration;”

  4. d. 

    Either that “no proceeding is now being or has been conducted in California for administration of the decedent's estate,” or “ the decedent’s personal representative has consented in writing to the payment, transfer, or delivery to the affiant or declarant of the property described in the affidavit or declaration;”

  5. e. 

    The current gross fair market value of the decedent's real and personal property in California, excluding the property described in Section 13050 of the California Probate Code, does not exceed one hundred sixty-six thousand two hundred fifty dollars ($166,250);

  6. f. 

    A description of the property of the decedent that is to be paid, transferred, or delivered to the affiant or declarant;

  7. g. 

    The name of the successor of the decedent to the described property;

  8. h. 

    Either of the following, as appropriate:

    • “The affiant or declarant is the successor of the decedent (as defined in Section 13006 of the California Probate Code) to the decedent's interest in the described property;” or

    • “The affiant or declarant is authorized under Section 13051 of the California Probate Code to act on behalf of the successor of the decedent (as defined in Section 13006 of the California Probate Code) with respect to the decedent's interest in the described property.”

  9. i. 

    “No other person has a right to the interest of the decedent in the described property;”

  10. j. 

    “The affiant or declarant requests that the described property be paid, delivered or transferred to the affiant or declarant;” and

  11. k. 

    “The affiant or declarant affirms or declares under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.”

    Where more than one person executes the affidavit or declaration, the statements required shall be modified to reflect that fact. (NOTE: A certified copy of the decedent’s death certificate must be attached to the affidavit or declaration. Also, if the decedent’s personal representative has consented to the payment, transfer, or delivery described in the affidavit or declaration, a copy of the consent and of the personal representative’s letters also must be attached to the affidavit or declaration.) CAL. PROB. CODE §13101 (2014).

3. Proof of ownership for California

If the decedent had evidence of ownership of the property described in the affidavit or declaration and the holder of the property would have had the right to require proof of ownership before the duty to pay deliver, or transfer the property would have arisen, the evidence of ownership, if available, shall be presented to the holder of the property along with the affidavit or declaration if such evidence is rightfully required.

If such evidence is not presented, the holder may condition payment, transfer, or delivery of the property on presentation of a bond in sufficient amount to indemnify the holder against all liability that may be incurred. CAL. PROB. CODE § 13102 (2014).

4. Proof of identity for California

Reasonable proof of identity of each person executing the affidavit or declaration shall be provided to the holder of the decedent's property.

  1. a. 

    Reasonable proof of identity is provided if both of the following requirements are met:

    • the person executing the affidavit or declaration is personally known to the holder; and

    • the person executes the affidavit or declaration in the presence of the holder.

  2. b. 

    If the affidavit or declaration is executed in the presence of the holder, a sworn statement by the person known to the holder affirming the identity of the person executing the affidavit or declaration is reasonable proof of identity.

  3. c. 

    If the affidavit or declaration is executed in the presence of the holder, the holder may reasonably rely on any of the following as proof of identity:

    • a current California identification card or driver's license, or one issued during the preceding 5 years;

    • a current U.S. passport or one issued during the preceding 5 years; or

    • any of the following is current or issued during the preceding 5 years contains a photograph and description of the person, signature of the person and a serial or other identifying number: foreign passport stamped by U.S. INS (NOTE: INS no longer exists and its functions have been delegated to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS); in lieu of an INS stamp, SSA should recognize a stamp by either ICE or BCIS), out-of-State driver's license, out-of State identification card, or a United States military identification card.

  4. d. 

    A notary public's certificate of acknowledgement identifying the person executing the affidavit or declaration is reasonable proof of identity.

  5. e. 

    Unless the affidavit or declaration contains a notary public's certificate of acknowledgment, the holder shall note on the affidavit or declaration either that the person executing the affidavit or declaration is personally known or a description of the identification provided by the person executing the affidavit or declaration. CAL. PROB. CODE § 13104 (2014)

5. Good acquittance for California

If the requirements listed above are satisfied, receipt by the holder of the affidavit or declaration constitutes sufficient acquittance for the payment of money, delivery of property, or changing of ownership and discharges the holder from any further liability with respect to the money or property. The holder may rely in good faith on the statements in the affidavit or declaration and has no duty to inquire into the truth of any statement in the affidavit or declaration. CAL. PROB. CODE § 13106 (2014)

B. Procedure for California underpayments and lump-sum death payments

To facilitate disposition of underpayments and lump-sum death payments in California, a copy of the form, Affidavit OR Declaration Showing Right to Receive Money under Section 13100 of the California Probate, is shown at GN 02315.200. This form should be reproduced locally as needed. It is designed for in-office use and must be completed in the SSA office by the affiant or declarant. Direct any questions regarding use of the form through channels to the Regional Chief Counsel, Region IX.

GN 02315.200 Affidavit Showing Right to Receive Money Under Section 13100 of the California Probate Code - Exhibit

AFFIDAVIT SHOWING RIGHT TO RECEIVE MONEY UNDER
SECTION 13100 OF THE CALIFORNIA PROBATE CODE - Exhibit

1. Name of Numberholder 2. Social Security Number
 
3. Name of Underpaid Beneficiary 4. Place of Death
 

 

The undersigned declares that he or she is the surviving    (Relationship to Decedent)    of    (Name of Deceased Person Listed in 3 Above)    , who died on    (Month, Day, Year)    domiciled in the State of California, and that:

  1. (1) 

    At least 40 days have elapsed since the death of the decedent, as shown in the certified copy of the decedent's death certificate attached to this affidavit or declaration;

  2. (2) 

    No proceeding is now being or has been conducted in California for administration of the decedent's estate;

  3. (3) 

    The gross value of the decedent's real and personal property in California does not exceed one hundred sixty-six thousand two hundred fifty dollars ($166,250);

  4. (4) 

    The property to be paid to the affiant consists of unpaid Social Security benefits;

  5. (5) 

    No person who is not named on this affidavit has a right to succeed to the decedent's property;

  6. (6) 

    The affiant is either (A) the successor of the decedent, or (B) authorized to act on behalf of the successor of the decedent, with respect to the decedent's interest in the described Property. "Successor of the decedent" means: (a) If the decedent died leaving a will, the affiant is the sole beneficiary or one of the beneficiaries who succeeded to property under the will. (b) If the decedent died without a will, the affiant is the sole person or one of the persons who succeed to the property of the decedent based on relationship to the decedent.

    Did the decedent leave a will?       Yes     No

    If the decedent left a will, list below all beneficiaries of the will. If there is no will, list the decedent's surviving relatives. (List yourself first.)

NAME RELATIONSHIP ADDRESS
 
 
 

LIST ADDITIONAL NAMES ON THE REVERSE SIDE IF NECESSARY

  •  

    I request, pursuant to the provisions of section 13100 of the California Probate Code, that the Social Security Administration pay me the underpayment due the decedent or his estate under the Social Security Act.

    I affirm or declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

  Signature of Affiant                  
Date        
  Address                         
 
Place of Execution                

GN 02315 TN 19 - Small Estate Statutes - 10/09/2020