Affidavit of Surviving Spouse or Domestic Partner
If the aggregate of all real and personal property of an intestate estate (no Will) does not exceed $50,000 (date of death on or after November 9, 2015) or $20,000 (date of death preceding November 9, 2015), the surviving spouse or civil union domestic partner can make application for an Affidavit of Surviving Spouse or Domestic Partner, in lieu of an administration. The affiant must present an original death certificate and list of assets.
The affidavit will include statements that the affiant is the surviving spouse or domestic partner and that the aggregate value of the decedent’s assets does not exceed the requisite limit. The affidavit must set forth decedent's legal residence at the time of death and also specifically list the decedent’s assets, including the type (include serial numbers where available), value, and location of each asset. The spouse or domestic partner will be authorized to access and handle only those assets listed. If additional assets are discovered later, the affiant must come to the Surrogate's Court and file a Supplemental Affidavit of Surviving Spouse. If, at that time, the aggregate of the assets then exceeds the requisite limit, an application for general administration will have to be made. If the surviving spouse or domestic partner renounces or is unable to act pursuant to the procedure, a general administrator will have to be appointed and a surety bond posted.