What Is an Affidavit?
An Affidavit is a written statement of facts that is sworn on oath. The individual who swears that the information written in the Affidavit is true is called an affiant or deponent and must sign this document before a notary public. The notary public is the person authorized by the state to verify that the person who claims to have signed the document is the same who signed it.
What Documents Are Required for Affidavit?
When signing an affidavit, you need to have your passport, driver’s license, or any document that may serve as proof of identity, so that the affidavit can be notarized.
How to Get an Affidavit?
There are many different types of Affidavits, which vary based on their intended purpose. Some of the most common types are listed below.
- Affidavit of Name Change. These are used when a person or entity needs proof that you have legally changed your name. Usually, the document will include your old name, your new one, and the state where the change originated.
- Affidavit of Small Estate. These are most commonly used when a close relative dies and leaves behind a small estate. This document allows the property to be transferred to the heirs without the need for a probate process.
- Affidavit of Support. This document is regularly used in the immigration process and it is signed by a sponsor, who will be financially responsible for the immigrant coming into the United States.
- Affidavit of Death. Usually handled by an estate administrator, its purpose is to notify a court, business, or creditors that someone has died.
- Affidavit of Service. These are used to attest to the delivery of specified papers to a person, organization, or business as requested by a party to a lawsuit.
- Affidavit of Heirship. This form is used to define the presenсe of the inheritors of a deceased person who has not left an enforceable will.
- Identity Theft Affidavit. These are filed if an individual's personal data was used to create an illegitimate account or perform any other actions in their name.
- Divorce Affidavit. Acts as evidence of your divorce in cases when you cannot locate your official paperwork.
- Affidavit of Residence. This Affidavit is used to verify the address of a person, and it is generally used to prove you live or lived at a certain residence for tax or business reasons.
- Financial Affidavit. Generally used in divorce proceedings to verify the financial status of the signers, who must state facts such as their yearly income and savings.
How to Write an Affidavit?
Certain legal requirements must be met for the Affidavit to be valid. When lawyers use Affidavits in motions and court filings, they may design this document to meet their specific needs at the time. In other circumstances, you may draft your own document by using Affidavit forms that contain specific information to fulfill the intended purpose. The Affidavit, which may be written in the first or third person, must state only relevant facts in a concise and organized way. Furthermore, the document must assert that everything in it is true.
The deponent who signs the sworn statement must be a competent person (which in most cases means they must be of legal age and of sound mind). In addition, they must sign the Affidavit voluntarily and without coercion and must have firsthand knowledge of the information they are attesting to. An authorized person, who could be a notary public, a lawyer, or Justice of the Peace, must be present when the document is signed.
The foot of the last page of the document, known as the "jurat", must include the following details:
- The full name and signature of the deponent.
- Information on whether the Affidavit is sworn or affirmed.
- The date and place where the deponent signs the Affidavit.
- The full name and profession of the authorized person, as well as their signature.
Moreover, if any alteration, correction, addition, or amendment is made to the Affidavit, both the deponent and the authorized witness must initial each alteration to confirm they are valid.
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