An Small Estate Affidavit form is a legal document whereby a piece of property is transferred to heirs or beneficiaries after someone’s death. The Affidavit of Small Estate is executed in situations when an estate does not need to be submitted to probate because of the small size of the estate.
The limits and definitions of a Small Estate vary in all states, but most small estates range from $10,000 to $250,000 in assets.
The main purpose of an Affidavit of Small Estate is to inform the court that a particular estate meets the requirements of a small estate and that the appropriate summary probate process may be initiated. It also entitles the person executing the Small Estate Affidavit to receive possession and ownership of the decedent’s property without going through the formality of probate.
In the Affidavit of Small Estate, the affiant who files the document must identify all other claimants, beneficiaries, and heirs who have certain claims or rights to the decedent’s estate. If there are other claimants, the affiant must swear to issue proper notice to them.
This Small Estate Affidavit is then signed and sworn in the presence of a notary public in the state in which the form was filed. The Affidavit of Small Estate is filed with the probate court of the decedent’s county and becomes a legal document usable by the heirs to enforce their right to the property.