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Small Estate Help Desk

October 24 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm


*** This registration is for volunteer attorneys only. If you are seeking services, please note that this event is a walk-in help desk and assistance will be provided on a first come, first served basis.*** 

Would you like to make an impact on the San Antonio community in a short time frame? When we as a legal community think of high-impact pro bono activities, very rarely does probate come to mind, but COVID-19 has impacted families and caused many tragic and unexpected deaths. It shined a light on the acute need that pro se applicants have for probate assistance. People who are unable to afford a probate attorney are turning to the only pro se probate option available: a small estate affidavit (SEA).  

SEAs are problematic for many pro se applicants because either they do not understand how to properly complete the forms, or the estate doesn’t qualify for a SEA. At each of SALSA’s Small Estate Help Desk events, volunteers meet with clients at the Bexar County Courthouse on a walk-in basis to review their application for a small estate affidavit, make edits to completed applications, or discuss alternative probate paths that are best suited for the client.  

SALSA staff processes each prospective client from a table set up across from Probate Court chambers. Income-qualified clients are then assigned to a volunteer attorney for one-on-one assistance, using either the Waiting / Conference Room in the courthouse or, if not in session, one of the probate court chambers. 

Once you register with this help desk, you will be sent a confirmation email with a link to SALSA’s Small Estates resources page which contains training materials and references. 

At the help desk, prior to meeting with the client, volunteers will receive: 

  • A copy of the client’s completed small estate affidavit and any other pertinent case documents, as applicable; 
  • If the client has not yet completed or filed a SEA, a blank form, which we ask you to complete for the client; 
  • Affidavit of Inability to Pay Court Costs with accompanying Legal Aid Certificate 
  • SEA Completion Instructions and intestacy chart. 

The volunteer attorney will meet with the client during the prescribed help desk hours. Mentors and SALSA staff members will be on stand-by to answer questions that may arise. 

The volunteer and the client will discuss the assets and debts of the estate to determine whether the SEA or some other method, such as Affidavit of Heirship or Independent Administration, are better suited for the client’s needs. After helping the client correct their SEA, completing a new SEA, or making recommendations for an alternative probate path, the volunteer will then complete a closure form which will allow SALSA staff to determine whether any follow-up services are available for the client. If a SEA is not appropriate, and the client’s situation requires a more complex method to settle the estate, SALSA staff will assist with providing the client a referral for extended services after the volunteer’s assistance at the Small Estate Help Desk has concluded. 

We look forward to working with you at this event! 

**Please note that sometimes the auto-emails from SALSA about registration confirmation and resource pages are sent to your spam folder. If you do not receive a confirmation in your inbox from us within 5 minutes of your registration, please check your spam folder and white-list emails from SALSA. Thanks!**


October 24
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Categories:


Bexar County Probate Court
100 Dolorosa
San Antonio, TX 78205 United States
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