Affidavit - definition, examples and writing tips (2023)

An affidavit is a voluntary declaration,sworn statementsworn, used as verification for various purposes. The declaration is witnessed and signed by a notary public or other law enforcement official authorized to do so. Once signed, the document is legally binding and the person signing it is liable to be charged withperjuryif the statement contains false information. To explore this concept, consider the following definition of an affidavit.

Definition of sworn statement


  1. A written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation.
  2. A written report signed by a person who swears that the information in the document is accurate to the best of their knowledge


Medieval Latin word from the late 16th centuryconfide, thatmeans, took an oath.

What is an Affidavit?

An affidavit is a sworn written statement of the facts, made under oath and under penalty of perjury, of which the statements are true to the best of your knowledge. The person taking the oath signs the affidavit form in front of awitness, usually a notary public, who verifies the identity of the person signing (the "signatory"). An affidavit is a voluntary action and is admissible asevidenceat court hearings.

Requirements for signing a declaration

There are no statutes in the United States that require a person making an affidavit to be of a minimum age; however, the person must be sane and fully understand the seriousness of signing under oath. For example, the person signing an affidavit form should know that providing false information on the affidavit is a crime. While it is common for adults over the age of 18 to make sworn statements, minors are rarely asked to do so inFamily Courtminutes.

When is a declaration required?

There are many reasons why a person might need an affidavit, including:

  • To notify a third party, such as a creditor, of a death or other change in circumstances
  • To confirm a home address or verify residency
  • To confirm or provide a name change, such as in the case of marriage ordivorce
  • To confirm a person's identity, such as if personal or financial information has been stolen or tampered with
  • To claim ownership of goods oractive
  • To confirm formal statements that may be used as evidence in court hearings
  • To confirm receipt of official documents

What is included in an affidavit?

An affidavit includes basic information. Although the types of declarations vary greatly, certain information is required for the document to be considered legal and valid. That includes:

  • The full legal name of the person sworn in on the affidavit
  • The full address of the sworn person
  • The facts or reasons for the sworn statement
  • Signatures and dates of the declarant and notary
  • Other information requested by third parties or court

Types of Affidavit

A basic affidavit is not specific and simply serves as a formal statement of fact that can be used for a variety of purposes. There are also a number of commonly used affidavits designed for specific purposes.

  • Small property testimonials– This statement is most often used when a spouse or close relative has died without a will. This declaration requires the signatory to swear to be the person responsible for liquidating the estate and distributing the remaining assets.
  • death certificate– After a person dies, a family member may have to sign an affidavit to notify a company, court, or other entity that the person has died. This statement usually requires the name, date of birth and date of death of the deceased person.
  • declaration of inheritance– This type of declaration is also used after the death of a family member. The signatory uses it to enforce their legal rights to the property the deceased left behind. By chanting this declaration, the person swears that he is the legitimateheirof the deceased
  • Declaration of residence– This statement is used to verify the residence address of a person, living or deceased. For example, a parent may be required to sign an Affidavit of Residency to prove their address before their children can attend the local school. These statements may also be required when proving residency information for employment or tax purposes.
  • Affidavit of Name Change– This statement is for people who have legally changed their name but need to provide proof of the change to a company or other entity. This type of declaration usually requires the person to list their former name, their current name, and the state in which the name change was made.
  • financial statement– This statement is most commonly used in divorce proceedings. Signatories use the declaration to declare their financial situation under oath. This may require each party to include information about their savings, annual income and material assets.
  • Identification or personal informationrobotdeclaration under oath– This is commonly used when a person's information or personal identification has been stolen or compromised. This signed affidavit is provided to banks, lenders and credit bureaus as it is an affidavit that the signer's identification or personal information has been stolen or compromised. Typically, in cases of credit card or identity theft, this statement is required for the victim to begin recovering their
  • statement of support– This legal declaration made by a sponsor who is a US citizen assures the government that the visa applicant had ample means of financial support should he be allowed to enter the country.

How to write a testimonial

Writing an affidavit can be overwhelming, especially if the preparer doesn't know where to start. Fortunately, a wide variety of affidavit examples are available online, giving users some ideas to use. When writing an affidavit, some basic steps should be followed:

  1. case identification. In the upper right corner, the preparer must include the court case number. Below the case number, the date must be entered. For example:

Judicial Process Number:


  1. parts ofCase. After the case number, list the parties involved. For example:

John Doe contra Allied Cement Company

  1. statement of fact. The preparer then declares what is being witnessed. For example:

I, John Doe, swear or affirm that: [insert facts to be certified in orderly format]

  1. Declaration of Affirmation. After presenting the facts, the preparer should include an affirmative statement. For example:

I, John Doe, certify under penalty of perjury that the above facts are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

  1. Signature and Testimony. Once these basic elements are in place, the affidavit must be sworn. This requires the preparer to take the document to a notary public or official commissioner. During this step, a government-issued form of identification is required to prove the signer's identity.

Tips for writing an effective affidavit

When preparing an affidavit, users should follow a few simple tips to ensure the document looks official.

  1. Use simple language and short sentences. Don't use complicated language or legal terms.
  2. keep himlow. Get straight to the point and leave out any information that is unrelated to the issue at hand.
  3. Keep it clear and organized. Using headings or bullets to present information clearly and concisely makes it easier to read and understand.
  1. drama of sin. Keep statements drama-free, avoiding melodramatic statements and inflammatory language. Dramatic statements, inflammatory language and disparagement of other parties are unnecessary and may undermine the signer's credibility.
  2. Spell checker. Before finalizing the document, make sure it is free of spelling and grammatical errors. Submitting a statement full of errors negatively affects credibility.
  3. review the document. Read the document aloud for errors at least twice before taking it in for signing. This helps ensure that all information is in place and correct. If corrections are needed after signing, a new document will need to be drafted as changes cannot be made to a signed document.

declaration under oath

An affidavit is not considered legal or official until it has been authenticated or witnessed by a legal official. After both parties sign the declaration, it becomes an affidavit. Providing false information in an affidavit can invalidate it and subject the signer to legal penalties. Officials certified to witness such documents may vary from state to state, but generally include:

  • Notary Public
  • Employees of some banks
  • bailiffs
  • Lawyers and paralegals

If a person is not sure which officials in their area can certify an affidavit, they can check with their local courthouse. Employees or organizations that authenticate documents sometimes charge a small fee for their services. They also record and keep a record of the name, date and reason for the declaration.

Legal implications of an affidavit

When making or swearing statements within the statement, the person making the statements must realize that he or she is dealing with a serious matter. By signing, a person is taking the same type of oath that he would take in a court of law. Providing false information or lying on an affidavit is a crime punishable by law. Some states consider this perjury and the penalty may include aBoa, community service, and even prison.

If a person has been accused of falsifying a statement or committing perjury, they should seek the help of a criminal defense attorney. Punishments for falsifying information vary greatly depending on the state and severity of the crime. Falsifying an affidavit for tax purposes can result in federal criminal charges.

Terms and related legal issues

  • Affirmation– the process of asserting something, testifying or swearing about a fact.
  • Public notary– a state-appointed official to serve as an impartial witness related to the signing of important These services are vital to deterfraudin the presentation of such written documents.
  • Perjury– the act of deliberately lying or stating false facts in a court of law or in a legal document, after having taken an oath.
  • authenticated document– any document signed before, and witnessed by, a Public Notary.
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kareem Mueller DO

Last Updated: 01/15/2023

Views: 6037

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kareem Mueller DO

Birthday: 1997-01-04

Address: Apt. 156 12935 Runolfsdottir Mission, Greenfort, MN 74384-6749

Phone: +16704982844747

Job: Corporate Administration Planner

Hobby: Mountain biking, Jewelry making, Stone skipping, Lacemaking, Knife making, Scrapbooking, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Kareem Mueller DO, I am a vivacious, super, thoughtful, excited, handsome, beautiful, combative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.