Affidavit of Small Estate Law and Legal Definition

An affidavit of small estate is a legal document by which the property is transferred to the heirs and beneficiaries after the death of a person. It is usually executed in situations when an estate is not submitted to the probate because of the size of the estate. 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 document to receive possession and ownership of the decedent's property without going through the formality of probate. In this affidavit, the affiant or the person who files the affidavit must identify all other claimants, beneficiaries, or heirs who have a right over the decedent's estate. If there are other claimants, the affiant must swear to issue proper notice to them. This affidavit must be signed and sworn in the presence of a notary in the state in which it is filed.