Affidavit of Next-of-Kin

In an intestate estate where the decedent leaves no surviving spouse or civil union domestic partner and the aggregate value of the estate does not exceed $20,000 (date of death on or after January 19, 2016) or $10,000 (date of death preceding January 19, 2016), one of the next-of-kin (with written consents from all other next-of-kin of equal degree) may file an Affidavit of Next of Kin, in lieu of administration. The affiant must present an original death certificate of the decedent, a death certificate of the spouse, the names and address of all next-of-kin, notarized Consents of all next-of-kin, and list of assets.

The affidavit will include statements of how the affiant is related to the decedent, the names, residences and relationship of all next of kin (including names and residences of minors of any deceased next of kin), 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.

When the Surrogate issues an Affidavit of Next-of-Kin, the affiant will be authorized to collect, handle and otherwise transfer 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 Next-of-Kin. If, at that time, the aggregate of the assets then exceeds the requisite limit, an application for general administration will have to be made and a surety bond posted.