40.0334 Petition for transferal of personal property to person entitled to letters of administration.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 40.0334]

When a decedent leaves personal property, including but not limited to cash, bank or other accounts, wages or salary due, shares of stock or other interest in any business enterprise, and goods and chattels of any nature, of a total value not exceeding $10,000, and known debts if any, of less than that amount, and the person or persons entitled to the personal property left by the decedent cannot readily obtain possession thereof, those persons entitled to letters of administration in the priorities listed in 40.0305, may file a sworn petition in the Trial Division of the High Court, asking the issuance of an order that such personal property be transferred to the petitioner. If none of the persons named in 40.0305 file such petition within 90 days of the death of the decedent, then any creditor of the decedent may file a sworn petition as set forth above.

History: 1962, PL 7-21; 1967, PL 10-16; amd 1979, PL 16-8 § 1.

Amendments: 1979 Raised dollar amount from $1,000 to $10,000.

Case Notes:

Territorial statute providing for transfer of small estates to persons entitled thereto without letters of administration was inapplicable to estate with assets in excess of $10,000. A.S.C.A. § 40.0334. In re Estate of Fuimaono, 7 A.S.R.2d 142 (1988).

When petitioner had secured the transfer of contents of a safe deposit box belonging to decedent by attesting that the assets in decedent’s estate had a total value of less than $10,000, the assets could not be distributed or retained by the petitioner without the issuance of letters of administration for decedent’s estate. A.S.C.A. § 40.0334. In re Estate of Fuimaono, 7 A.S.R.2d 142 (1988).

Surviving spouse who received funds belonging to deceased husband, under statute providing for the simplified administration of small estates, was required to pay his debts and funeral expenses and to distribute the remainder of the funds to his legal heirs. A.S.C.A. §§ 40.0334 et seq. In re Estate of Salanoa, 8 A.S.R.2d 26 (1988).

Surviving spouse who received funds belonging to deceased husband under statute providing for the simplified administration of small estates, and who used the funds to purchase a pickup truck rather than distributing them to legal heirs, would be required to restore the funds. A.S.C.A. §§ 40.0334 et seq. In re Estate of Salanoa, 8 A.S.R.2d 26 (1988).

Adult heir were competent to decide whether to seek recovery of their share of decedent’s estate from surviving spouse who had spent the funds in the estate, but minor heirs could not waive their share of the estate; accordingly, surviving spouse would be required to restore funds to minors’ trust accounts. A.S.C.A. §§ 40.0334 et seq. In re Estate of Salanoa, 8 A.S.R.2d 26 (1988).