§ 1901. Commencement of small estate

(a) When a decedent‘s estate has a fair market value of not more than $45,000.00 and consists entirely of personal property, provided that the estate may include a time-share estate as defined by 32 V.S.A. § 3619(a), an estate may be commenced by filing:

(1) a petition to open a probate estate;

(2) a list of interested persons;

(3) the filing fee;

(4) an original death certificate;

(5) an inventory of the estate, including information or estimates available at the time of filing;

(6) an affidavit of paid and outstanding funeral expenses and any other known or reasonably ascertainable debts of the decedent;

(7) a bond without surety in the amount of the fair market value of the estate; and

(8) the will, if any.

(b) An interested party who does not consent to the small estate proceeding in writing shall be provided with notice of the petition and the pending fiduciary appointment and may file any objections with the court within 14 days after receiving the notice. If no objections are filed, the fiduciary appointment and any will offered for admission shall be approved by the court without further notice or hearing.

Terms Used In Vermont Statutes Title 14 Sec. 1901

  • Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
  • Decedent: A deceased person.
  • Fair market value: The price at which an asset would change hands in a transaction between a willing, informed buyer and a willing, informed seller.
  • Fees: shall mean earnings due for official services, aside from salaries or per diem compensation. See
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • Fiduciary: includes executor, administrator, special administrator, trustee, conservator, guardian of a minor, guardian of a spendthrift, voluntary guardian of a person who has an infirmity and total or limited guardian of an adult with a developmental disability, but excludes one who is merely a guardian ad litem. See
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Probate: Proving a will

(c) If, after an estate is opened pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, it is determined that the value of the decedent’s estate at the time of his or her death exceeded $45,000.00, the fiduciary shall petition the court to order that the estate be administered pursuant to the laws and rules applicable to estates with a fair market value in excess of $45,000.00. The court shall grant the petition if it finds that the estate has a fair market value in excess of $45,000.00 and that all applicable fees have been paid. (Amended 1975, No. 240 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2009, No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2019, No. 36, § 1.)