What is Small Estate Administration?

Small estate administration is the fast lane of probate court

Small estate administration is the express lane of probate administration. It's a type of probate available in some states that offers simplified and expedited estate administration proceedings for qualifying estates.

Generally, these qualifying estates have assets with aggregate value less than a certain state-specified threshold amount, or only personal property assets of limited value.

What are the benefits of small estate administration?

Small estate administration generally requires less money, time, and effort than formal estate administration proceedings.

In a small estate administration, most or all the elements typically included in a formal estate administration are included in the initial opening of the estate. Once the court approves to open the estate, that order can be used to collect and distribute the assets.

How do I know if an estate qualifies for small estate administration?

The exact threshold and requirements for small estate administration varies from state to state. As a general rule of thumb, if you are working with an estate that has less than $100,000 of assets, it’s a good idea to investigate the requirements of your state.

If you’d like help identifying what the small estate thresholds are in your state, our Just In Case Estates customer success team is happy to assist.


Just In Case Estates is an online service providing legal forms and information. We are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice. If you need legal advice, please use our legal expert matching service to connect with a qualified, licensed estate planning attorney near you.