Real Property of Small Value

California Probate Code (CPC) 13200 allows for a decedent’s real property to be transferred to any heir or beneficiary without a full probate using a “Real Property of Small Value” procedure if the following requirements are met:

A-The gross value of the real property located in California does not exceed $50,000 in value. The gross value of the real property is based on a date of death valuation. Personal property is not considered when calculating this value. Additionally, since it is “gross value”, a mortgage is similarly not considered in the calculation, thus if the property has a gross value of $100,000, with a $90,000 mortgage (thus a net value of $10,000), the Real Property of Small Value transfer cannot be used.

B-At least 6 months must have past from the date of death.

C-This form can be used with or without a concurrent probate filing. If there is a probate for the decedent’s estate open, you must get the personal representative’s consent in writing, and all the decedent’s unsecured debts must have been paid.


Click here for the .pdf form needed (DE-305) for transferring Real Property of Small Value.


How to fill out form DE-305 and what to do once completed:

A-Once the affidavit Re: Real Property of Small Value has been completed, it will need to be notarized.

B-An Inventory and Appraisal needs to be attached to form DE-305. An inventory an appraisal is an official appraisal done by a probate referee. You will need to contact a probate referee and pay a fee to have then conduct the appraisal. Upon completion, they will send you an invoice and the completed inventory and appraisal. The official California probate referees website can be found here, along with this Guide to California Probate Referees. Click the following link for a list of Probate Referees in your county.

C-Attach a Certified Death Certificate to form DE-305 and a copy of the decedent’s Will, if one exists.

D-Form DE-305 along with one copy, the completed Inventory and Appraisal, and the Certified Death Certificate (and a copy of the Decedent’s Will if one exists) will then need to be filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county were the decedent resided at the time of death. There is a filing fee associated with this filing. ($30.00 as of June, 2011).

E-The Court will then grant you a certified copy of the affidavit without attachments.

F-You must then take the certified copy and record it (file it) in the office of the county recorder of the county where the real property is located. This step is crucial as puts the world on notice that the property has officially transferred from the grantor (decedent) to the grantee (beneficiary/heir).

Note – The recipient of the assets using a real property of small value procedures assumes all liability, including liens, encumbrances and possible tax liabilities associated with assets. Thus it is advisable to speak with an attorney before utilizing the real property of small value affidavit procedure.