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What Is a Affidavit? Definition, Uses and Importance.

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A written statement made under oath. An affidavit is a written statement that can be sworn in as true, but only if made voluntarily and without coercion. It’s important to note who the person making this statement has knowledge of what they are writing about (often themselves). By signing an affidavit you’re also stating your competence for court testimony – which generally means sound mind over majority age where applicable. An affidavit is required in many cases during the probate process.

When is an affidavit needed

  • Probate court
  • Civil court
  • Criminal court
  • Self-proving will affidavit.
  • Affidavit of power of attorney.
  • Financial affidavit.
  • Affidavit of lost document (usually with a bank)
  • Affidavit of identity theft.

An affidavit is different from a regular statement

An affidavit is a sworn statement. If you lie during an affidavit you can be prosecuted for purjery.

An Affidavit is important to the court

The court relies on affidavits to collect information that it doesn’t have from a verified entity like a bank.

An affidavit does not expire

If you are not sure of an answer, you shouldn’t swear to a statement in an affidavit. When you provide information in an affidavit you should make sure that it is 100% accurate.

When is an affidavit needed in probate?

The state law that governs small estates is remarkably simple. If an estate is under a certain value, then the people who inherit property won’t have to go through probate court and instead simply prepare and sign a brief affidavit swearing they are entitled to use this procedure for their inheritance of particular items.

Transferring real estate with an affidavit

Some states provide an affidavit procedure for real estate transactions in probate. Real estate transfers are always a matter of public record so the affidavit must be filed in court or with a public agency.

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