Affidavit forms can be used for a multitude of purposes in either legal, personal, or business dealings. Easily create your own legally binding statement now using expert online tools and guidance.
Last Update May 14th, 2022
- What Is an Affidavit
- Sworn Declaration or Affidavit
- What Is The Purpose of an Affidavit
- When to Use an Affidavit Template
- Types of Affidavit Forms
- How to Write an Affidavit
- How to File An Affidavit
- Affidavit Sample Form
- Affidavit FAQs
Download our professional examples
What Is an Affidavit
An affidavit is a sworn statement, which is given in writing. It allows people to make legally binding promises and declarations that can be used for either business, personal, or legal purposes.
Affidavits will often be admitted in law settings, for example, as evidence in court cases, although they can also be used in personal or business transactions when extra assurance is required. Signing an affidavit ultimately binds the signatory to the veracity of their statement.
These essential legal documents can be known by many different names such as:
Sworn Declaration or Affidavit
A sworn declaration is functionally similar to an affidavit, however, it is presented as a spoken statement rather than as a written document. Affidavits, on the other hand, do the opposite and present the facts stated by the signatory (known as an affiant) in written form. Both types of evidence are given under oath.
What Is The Purpose of an Affidavit
Affidavits are used to clarify facts. They are often used in court to provide witness statements for individuals who are unable to appear personally in the courtroom. However, they also have a number of other practical purposes.
You will often find affidavits uses in matters such as your personal affairs and business necessities. They are also essential to complete a number of important legal processes such as managing real estate or estate planning.
Aside from the courts, a number of other entities use affidavits in their day-to-day functions such as:
Family law offices
Real estate agents
When to Use an Affidavit Template
An affidavit is necessary when a party needs a sworn statement of the truth. This can be for any purpose either legal or personal.
You may be required to use an affidavit if you are creating any of the following legal forms:
Last will and testaments
In general, there are many different situations where an affidavit may be practically used. However, some of the most frequent reasons for using this essential legal document are as follows:
Divorce: To help settle the assets of each individual spouse
Real Estate: To establish cases of property transfer
Debt: Clarifying the level of debt and the circumstances that have led to it
Court cases: To provide evidence in an ongoing criminal or civil case
Types of Affidavit Forms
There are numerous types of sworn statement forms that can be created, depending on their intended use. Below we’ve detailed some of the most common forms of affidavits that you may come across.
A general affidavit is a simplified statement of veracity that can be used for a variety of purposes. They can be specifically customized to be used for almost any precise legal need.
Affidavit of Support
An affidavit of support is a legal document used during the immigration process. In this case, they are signed by the spouses of non-citizen green card applicants to guarantee the financial support of the prospective cardholder.
Small Estate Affidavit
Small estate affidavits are necessary in some states when the representatives or executors of an estate wish to show that the deceased’s property doesn’t exceed small estate law threshold amounts. This can be done to ensure that the holdings can be quickly and simply distributed.
A gift affidavit is employed in cases where one party wishes to gift another money or property. The document is signed to confirm that the gifter expects no payment or compensation for the items given to the recipient.
Service affidavits are used to state that specific documents have been served to their intended recipient. These forms detail when the documents were delivered and who they were given to.
Financial affidavits are applied to show that a person’s financial details could be necessary to proceed with a family law matter. These are often used in divorce or child support cases when assets and debt obligations are distributed.
Affidavit of Heirship
Affidavits of heirship are used when someone has died intestate (without a will) and their heirs wish to prove their family connection to the deceased. These are essential to provide a chain of inheritance when no prior directives such as a will or a trust have been created.
Affidavit of Residence
An affidavit of residence can be created to prove that you live at a specific address. These can be essential during the moving process when enrolling children in school and setting up accounts with businesses such as banks in your new area.
Affidavit of Birth
An affidavit of birth can be used when you’ve lost your birth certificate. These documents can be created and signed by a blood relative or a physician to provide the key details about your birth such as its date and location.
Affidavit of Name Change
You can use an affidavit of name change if you use a title that’s different than your birth name and you have not legally changed it. This document will normally need to be signed by another blood relative or your spouse.
How to Write an Affidavit
Like any authoritative legal instrument, it is important to follow some formal rules when writing a document of this type. There are several parts of an affidavit that must be included. These are as follows:
A statement from the affiant whereby they swear an oath of truthfulness for the information contained within the affidavit
The key information that the affiant is swearing to be true
The affiant’s signature
The formal attestation of an official who may administer oaths (e.g. a notary public)
If you are writing an affidavit for yourself or on behalf of another person, it is important to remember the following writing tips:
Write in short sentences
Avoid excessive legal jargon
Organize your thoughts carefully on paper
Keep the document as short as possible
Check the document carefully for any spelling or grammatical errors
Lying on an Affidavit
One of the most important factors about an affidavit is that it must tell the truth. Lying on this kind of legal form can lead to many negative legal ramifications.
As the document is legally binding once signed and is done so under oath, anyone caught lying on an affidavit can be tried for perjury. Therefore it is important to be absolutely sure that any claims made on this kind of legal document are true before signing it.
Sign and Notarize an Affidavit
When signing an affidavit, it is necessary to also notarize the document. If you’re signing the document you must visit a notary public and observe any witnessing requirements of your type of affidavit in order for it to be legally valid.
How to File An Affidavit
Once you’ve created your affidavit form with all the information required and have had it signed and notarized it can be put into use. This requires filing the document with the company or government agency that requires your sworn statement.
Filing your affidavit will normally be a requirement if your statement is being used in court or during an eviction process. To do this, you must visit your local courthouse and present the document and any other legal paperwork required to progress your case.
Below, you can access a sample form to begin the process of writing and filing your affidavit.
Affidavit Sample Form
An affidavit can be crucial to complete a legal process and must be completed correctly. To avoid issues when filling in and customizing your own document take a look over our affidavit sample form before you start.
Affidavits are highly important documents in a number of different processes. To find out more about how and when they can be used browse our FAQs below for a better understanding of these forms.
How to Get an Affidavit Form?
Are Affidavits Legally Binding?
Yes, once an affidavit has been signed it is legally binding. There are strict penalties if you lie on these forms as it is considered perjury, and getting caught doing this can even result in jail time if the case is serious enough.
Who Are the Parties in an Affidavit?
The most important party that appears on an affidavit is the signatory (known as the affiant). However, some other parties may appear such as the third party whose information is being confirmed by the affiant.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Create an Affidavit Form?
Normally, a lawyer would be called upon to create an affidavit form for a witness or client. This is not obligatory although it is recommended in certain situations such as court proceedings. However, for personal and family matters, there are more options such as online document builders which may prove cheaper and easier than hiring a legal professional.