What’s an Affidavit and Do you Need One?

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If you’re reading this post, you’re likely wondering what an affidavit is. Most people often use it to prove the truth of certain facts. Therefore, it can be particularly useful in estate planning and other legal matters. There are many types of affidavits, but they all have similar characteristics and purposes. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of what an affidavit is, when it should be filed and who can sign one. In simple words we answer the question: what’s an affidavit and do you need one?

An affidavit is a statement you make under oath

Creating an affidavit is always under oath. That means that it’s a legal document. It’s a substitute for oral testimony, but it must be in writing. Moreover the person making the statement needs to sign it. Other people might also have to sign the affidavit but that depends on its type too.

Additionally, an affidavit differs from other types of statements. After all you have to sign it before a notary public or an officer authorized to administer oaths. The person swearing to the affidavit must affirm that their statements are true and correct under penalty of perjury. If they lie they could face legal repercussions so everyone involved should take it seriously.

What is an affidavit for?

You can use an affidavit to prove any of the following:

  • Your identity.

  • That you were a witness to an event.

  • That you have legal authority to act on behalf of another person or company.

  • That you have authority from a government agency.

Those are just examples of affidavits. Let’s have a look at different types of affidavits.

Types of affidavits

If a person is seeking an affidavit, it’s likely they’re planning to use the document in some way.  Or maybe you want to know more about what they need to do in order to get one.

Affidavits can be of many different types and can include everything from heirship details to documents about birth, death or marriage. The following are just a few examples:

  • Affidavit of Heirship. This is typically useful when there’s been a dispute over who inherits money or property after someone dies. The court will issue this document to prove that someone is legally entitled to receive the property at hand.

  • Affidavit of Birth, Death or Marriage. This is an official statement by one individual regarding another person. Specifically that they have given birth/been born, died, married, divorced, on a specific date at a specific location. These documents usually contain information such as name(s), date(s) and place(s).

  • Affidavit of power of attorney. A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows one person—the agent—to act on another person’s behalf. However, the authority ends if the principal dies or revokes the power of attorney. Before a third party acts in reliance on a POA, the agent may have to sign an affidavit. This is stating that the power of attorney is currently in effect and that the principal has not died or revoked the POA.

Self-proving affidavit and estate planning

A self-proving will affidavit is a document that affirms the validity of a will and makes it official. You can use it to prevent people from contesting a will. That’s especially useful if anyone is claiming that you had not fully expressed your wishes at the time of signing.

To obtain a self-proving will affidavit, you must first have an attorney draft your documents. They can then submit the affidavit for review by an official. If everything checks out, the court accepts them as valid and issues what’s known as a “certificate of probate”.

Note that you can also draft your own affidavit or have someone write one for you. Myend’s last will also comes with an affidavit template that you can fill out, print and use. Easy and with no additional costs. Make things harder for anyone trying to challenge its legitimacy of your will after your death.

Who can sign an affidavit?

A notary public is a person that the state has appointed to verify the identity of an individual. They also have to attest that an individual’s signature on a document is authentic. Additionally a notary public is able to administer oaths, take acknowledgments. Finally, they can also perform other duties in relation to documents for legal proceedings.

A notary may also be referred to as a civil law notary or common law notary. This may depend on where you are exactly. For example, Canada has both types of notaries, while most countries around the world only use civil law/common law systems. In these systems, including the American system people need only one type of official seal. And that’s regardless if they’re signing documents as lawyers or private citizens.

If you’re unsure whether there’s more than one type of “notary” within your jurisdiction, check with your local government offices for more. Do that before proceeding with any kind of document signing process.

What happens after you file an affidavit?

That’s an interesting question. You don’t necessarily file the affidavit, but the signed last will with it. After the judge approves your request and signs the court order, you will receive a copy of it. Remember: The probate process may take quite some time (sometimes months), so don’t expect immediate results!

Do I need an affidavit for my last will?

You can use an affidavit for your last will to prove that you are the person who signed the will. The witnesses of your will maybe also have to sign the affidavit.

Summing up, an affidavit is a way of swearing or making an oath before a witness. This makes it easier for people to trust what you say in your last will . It also shows that your signature on the document is valid.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a first-time will maker, you may be unsure about whether or not an affidavit is necessary. There are many situations where this type of document is essential for your estate plan to be valid. For example, let’s say that there is any question about the identity or age of an heir (or potential heir). In this case an affidavit can help confirm their relationship to the deceased person and their right to inherit their share. Affidavits can be very useful in estate planning, and nobody understands that better than us!

Myend offers the perfect estate and end-of-life planning for all! This way navigating such complicated issues gets easier. Have a look here to learn more. And if you’re ready for action, sign up today for your free account! The estate planning of the future is here today.

Disclaimer

Myend is not a law firm, it does not engage in the practice of law, and it does not render any official legal advice. Therefore, you are hereby advised to seek your own legal counsel regarding any legal issues. Myend’s articles are meant to be taken as suggestions and therefore Myend carries no responsibility for the user’s actions.