For example, the decedent might have owed money to a credit card company when they died. If you use the small estate affidavit, you must give money from the estate to pay the credit card company. If you don't pay the credit card company, it can file a lawsuit against you. If they win in court, you would have to pay them the amount owed. This is true even if you do not keep any money or property and give all of it to others.
It is important that there are no claims made against the estate if you sign the affidavit. If there are, then you must list them on the affidavit so they can be paid. There should be no fights over who should receive money or property from the estate.
Updated: January 2017