2013 North Dakota Century Code
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COLLECTION BY AFFIDAVIT - ADMINISTRATION FOR SMALL ESTATES
30.1-23-01. (3-1201) Collection of personal property by affidavit.
1. Thirty days after the death of a decedent, any person indebted to the decedent or
having possession of tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing a debt,
obligation, stock, or chose in action belonging to the decedent shall make payment of
the indebtedness or deliver the tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing
a debt, obligation, stock, or chose in action to a person claiming to be the successor of
the decedent upon being presented an affidavit made by or on behalf of the successor
a. The value of the entire estate subject to distribution or succession under chapters
30.1-01 through 30.1-23, wherever located, less liens and encumbrances, does
not exceed fifty thousand dollars.
b. Thirty days have elapsed since the death of the decedent.
c. An application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is not
pending or has not been granted in any jurisdiction.
d. The claiming successor is entitled to payment or delivery of the property.
2. A transfer agent of any security shall change the registered ownership on the books of
a corporation or limited liability company from the decedent to the successor upon the
presentation of an affidavit as provided in subsection 1.
30.1-23-02. (3-1202) Effect of affidavit.
The person paying, delivering, transferring, or issuing personal property or the evidence
thereof pursuant to affidavit is discharged and released to the same extent as if the person dealt
with a personal representative of the decedent. The person is not required to see to the
application of the personal property or evidence thereof or to inquire into the truth of any
statement in the affidavit. If any person to whom an affidavit is delivered refuses to pay, deliver,
transfer, or issue any personal property or evidence thereof, it may be recovered or its payment,
delivery, transfer, or issuance compelled upon proof of their right in a proceeding brought for the
purpose by or on behalf of the persons entitled thereto. Any person to whom payment, delivery,
transfer, or issuance is made is answerable and accountable therefor to any personal
representative of the estate or to any other person having a superior right.
30.1-23-03. (3-1203) Small estates - Summary administrative procedure.
If it appears from the inventory and appraisal that the value of the entire estate, less liens
and encumbrances, does not exceed the homestead as defined in section 47-18-01, plus
exempt property pursuant to section 30.1-07-01, family allowance, costs and expenses of
administration, reasonable funeral expenses, and reasonable and necessary medical and
hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent, the personal representative, without giving
notice to creditors, may immediately disburse and distribute the estate to the persons entitled
thereto and file a closing statement as provided in section 30.1-23-04.
30.1-23-04. (3-1204) Small estate - Closing by sworn statement of personal
1. Unless prohibited by order of the court and except for estates being administered by
supervised personal representatives, a personal representative may close an estate
administered under the summary procedures of section 30.1-23-03 by filing with the
court, at any time after disbursement and distribution of the estate, a verified statement
a. To the best knowledge of the personal representative, the value of the entire
estate, less liens and encumbrances, did not exceed the homestead as defined in
section 47-18-01, plus exempt property, pursuant to section 30.1-07-01, family
allowance, costs and expenses of administration, reasonable funeral expenses,
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and reasonable, necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of
b. The personal representative has fully administered the estate by disbursing and
distributing it to the persons entitled thereto.
c. The personal representative has sent a copy of the closing statement to all
distributees of the estate and to all creditors or other claimants of whom the
personal representative is aware whose claims are neither paid nor barred and
has furnished a full account in writing of the personal representative's
administration to the distributees whose interests are affected.
If no actions or proceedings involving the personal representative are pending in the
court one year after the closing statement is filed, the appointment of the personal
A closing statement filed under this section has the same effect as one filed under
30.1-23-05. Will searches, burial documents procurement, and inventory of contents.
1. Upon being furnished with satisfactory proof of death of a sole lessee or the last
surviving co-lessee of a safe deposit box, the safe deposit company may open the box
for an individual who appears in person and furnishes an affidavit stating the following:
a. The box may contain the will or deed to a burial lot or a document containing
instructions for the burial of the lessee or that the box may contain property
belonging to the estate of the lessee;
b. The individual is an interested person and wishes to open the box:
(1) To conduct a will search;
(2) To obtain a document required to facilitate the lessee's wishes regarding
body, funeral, or burial arrangements; or
(3) To make an inventory of the contents of the box; and
c. There has been no application for or appointment of a personal representative or
administrator for the decedent's estate.
2. The safe deposit company may not open the box under this section if it has received a
copy of letters from the representative of the deceased lessee's estate or other
applicable court order.
3. The safe deposit company need not open the box if the lessee's key or combination is
4. For purposes of this section, the term "interested person" means:
a. A person named as personal representative in a purported will of the lessee;
b. A person who immediately prior to the death of the lessee had the right of access
to the box;
c. The surviving spouse of the lessee;
d. A devisee of the lessee;
e. An heir of the lessee; or
f. A person designated by the lessee in a writing acceptable to the safe deposit
company which is filed with the safe deposit company before death.
5. The safe deposit company need not ascertain the truth of any statement in the affidavit
required to be furnished under this section, and when acting in reliance upon an
affidavit, it is discharged as if it dealt with the personal representative of the lessee.
The safe deposit company is not responsible for the adequacy of the description of
any property included in an inventory of the contents of a safe deposit box, nor for
conversion of the property in connection with actions performed under this section,
except for conversion by intentional acts of the company or its employees, directors,
officers, or agents. If the safe deposit company is not satisfied that the requirements of
this section have been met, it may decline to open the box.
6. No contents of a box other than a will and a document required to facilitate the
lessee's wishes regarding body, funeral, or burial arrangements may be removed
pursuant to this section.
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Title 30.1 Uniform Probate Code
Chapter 30.1-23 Collection by Affidavit - Administration for Small Estates
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