Affidavits: Informational Checklist

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Note/Warning: You will not be able to print a small estate affidavit through the Form Library until you have all the information required in the questionnaire. All data must be submitted before the affidavit can be compiled and available for printing. If any data is missing, the information will be stored and you can log in at another time to complete the missing information and then print the document.

The following outlines the information required by the questionnaire you will complete to prepare a small estate affidavit as well as other useful information which will assist you in processing the affidavit:

1.  You will need a certified copy of the decedent’s death certificate for each affidavit form which is prepared.

2. If the decedent left a Will, you will need the original Will.

3.  You will need the names and addresses of each of the named beneficiaries in a Will; or if there is not a Will, you will need the names and addresses of the heirs who will receive the decedent’s property. See the Information on Intestacy to more specifically identify heirs entitled to the decedent’s estate by intestate succession.

4.  In cases where there is no Will and the decedent left a surviving spouse and children from a prior marriage, you will need to consult an attorney or other legal professional about use and preparation of an Affidavit.  The  form of Affidavits in this Form Library are not designed to meet your circumstances.

Specific to Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property

A.  You will need a current statement or other documentation which describes in sufficient detail the property which you want to collect.  For example, a bank account statement, an investment account statement, a stock certificate, a debt instrument which is due to the decedent. The questionnaire will ask that you provide the account number or other reference which will identify the property to be collected.

B. In instances where there is no obvious account or reference number other than the decedent’s name, you can provide the social security number in a truncated form:  SS# xxx-xx-9999.

C.  You will need the address of the company, institution or individual holding or managing the property you will collect. Use the local branch office where a bank account or investment account is held. If the account is managed by company outside of Arizona, call the account representative for the appropriate address and department where the affidavit form will be submitted. You may find this information on a company website.

Specific to Affidavit for Succession to Real Property

1. An Affidavit of Succession to Real Property is first filed in Court; subsequently a certified copy of the Affidavit is recorded with the county recorder where the real property is located. Filing the Affidavit does not open a probate proceeding; however, Arizona statutes do require that the document be filed in Court. Because this is a Court document, the successor will be listed on the document as acting on his or her own, without an attorney. If there is more than one successor, the person registering to complete the questionnaire will be listed as the primary contact. The questionnaire does offer an option for a registered party to complete or assist a family member or other individual with this form and appropriate information will be obtained to reflect the successor information on the court documents.

2. You will need a copy of the deed for the real property which the decedent owned at the time of death. If the deed is not titled solely in the decedent’s name, please consult an attorney or other legal professional about the affidavit procedure. The form of affidavit provided in this Library is not drafted to meet your situation where there will be only a transfer of the decedent’s partial ownership interest in real property.

If you do not have a copy of the deed, you can obtain a copy from the Office of the County Recorder where the property is located.  You can also telephone a title company in the County where the property is located and ask its customer service department, if they will provide you with a copy of your deed by giving them the property address or tax parcel number.

Much of the information required to prepare an affidavit of succession in the Form Library can be found on your deed. The document preparation process is more efficient, if you get a copy of the deed before proceeding.

3. If the decedent’s name on the death certificate varies in any way from the way the name is printed on the deed, you will be asked to provide both variations of the name.  For example:

  • The name on the death certificate is John Lewis Smith.
  • The name on the deed is stated as John Smith.
  • The affidavit form will read JOHN LEWIS SMITH also known as JOHN SMITH.
  • These distinctions avoid title confusion.

4. A married person who is entitled to receive an interest in the real property will be designated to receive the interest as his or her sole and separate property because an inheritence in Arizona is separate property. If the person receiving the interest wishes to place a spouse on the title, that can be accomplished by a separate and subsequent deed.