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Affidavits

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Affidavit Templates 

If you need to create an affidavit, you will need to write the details of a situation clearly to produce your statement in a court of law. Instead of testifying in court, you are giving a written statement of facts that needs to be well written and detailed. Not everyone will know how to make one of these statements, so using affidavit templates can be a good way to get started. 


What is an Affidavit? 

An affidavit is a written legal statement that is voluntarily written under oath. The statement consists of true facts of a case that are detailed as a written testimony that must be signed with an officer present who is able to administer these oaths. It is like testifying under oath in a court of law but is a written statement that states the facts that you would explain when testifying.

Although it is most often used in court cases, an affidavit has many various uses. They are sometimes used to detail a person’s financial situation when they are applying for a certain credit card, to ensure that they are being honest about their finances. 

Because an affidavit is a legal document, you will have to write your personal information and have your signature witnessed by a notary to make it usable in court proceedings. If the signing does not take place in the proper way, then it is not usable in court.


When Do You Use an Affidavit? 

An affidavit can be used in a number of different scenarios. The following list gives you an idea of some of the most common uses of affidavits: 

  • Proving your identity after losing a driver's license or identification card
  • When you enter into a contractual agreement 
  • For evidence in legal proceedings 
  • When applying for government agencies 
  • When legally changing your name 
  • When requesting a death or birth certificate 
  • For evidence during an administrative hearing 

These are just some of the common uses for an affidavit and there are many more uses that you may come across. 


Kinds of Affidavits 

Although affidavit templates are fairly similar, there are several kinds of affidavits that will determine which template you will want to use. The multiple kinds of affidavits are: 

  • Affidavit of Marriage: Declaration of legal marriage, used when married couples cannot locate their marriage certificate.
  • Affidavit of Domicile: This affidavit is used when dealing with a will or trust.
  • Affidavit of Heirship: This kind of affidavit is used to determine who will be an heir when a person dies and does not have a will. 
  • Affidavit in a Divorce: This type of affidavit includes information about your finances when splitting up assets in the middle of a divorce. 
  • Affidavit for Sweepstakes Winners: This kind of affidavit is used to confirm your identity when you win a prize to ensure that legal action can be taken if you try to claim the reward fraudulently. 


What Goes Into an Affidavit? 

Because an affidavit is a legal document, even if you’re using affidavit templates to create it, you still want to ensure that you have all parts needed. If you don’t have a certain section that is needed, or you have missing or false information, you could end up with serious legal consequences. So, here are all the different components that you should make sure to include in an affidavit. 


Title and Names of Parties 

With any affidavit, you want to create a title that makes it clear that the document is an affidavit and what the purpose of it is. For example, if you are creating a financial affidavit for a divorce, then the title would be “Affidavit of Divorce.” You also want to include a list of the names of all parties that are involved in the situation. If there are multiple parties that are involved in the case, you will list their names in the document as well. 


The Affirmation 

This section is a statement identifying what the document is for and that you believe to the best of your knowledge, that the information in the affidavit is correct. This first-person statement should be short and to the point. It is also extremely important that the statement is completely accurate. 

If the statement is not accurate, then you could be charged with perjury because it is a legal document. So, it is best to keep it short and simple and just state what the affidavit is for, the information needed and that the information is true. If you look over everything to ensure the accuracy, then there will no be legal issues.


Supporting Documents 

If you have any other documents that you need to attach to the affidavit, you will need to attach them to the final document once you are ready to sign and notarize it. All of the documents should be in order and organized by letters. For example, the first document will be labeled Exhibit A, the next B, and so on. This is how you should mention them in the affidavit when writing about a specific document. 


Certification Section 

This section will contain your signature and will need to be signed with a notary present. You will sign your full legal name and include the date that you signed the document. This section also has room for witness’s signatures, if you choose to have anyone else there the signing. This can improve the validity in a legal case, so it is a good idea to have one or two witnesses with you for the signing.


Notary Public Section 

The last section of the affidavit will be the space left open for the notary to sign. This will happen during the official signing to state that they have witnessed you and your witnesses sign the document. This will typically include the notary’s name and the date of the signing. There will also be a space where the notary will stamp the document. 

In some states, there may also need a space for the notary’s ID number to be written in as well. So, you can check your state to see if you need to use a template that includes this section. 


Tips For Writing Your Affidavit 

Writing a legal document could be nerve-racking, and if you don’t feel confident in your writing abilities, then you could feel quite uneasy about having to do it. Well, you don’t need to be an amazing writer to handle this job, and here are some simple tips to help you get through the process. 


Edit  

You need to make sure that your writing is clear and editing your writing for grammar mistakes and misspellings will help you do that. Whether you put the document through a grammar correcting website, or choose to look over it on your own, make sure that everything is as it should be. 

Also, if you keep finding mistakes, it is best to take a break and look at the document later. This will give you the chance to see it in better detail and fix more mistakes at a time. Another way to ensure that you find all mistakes is to adjust the font and size of the text. This will help you identify any mistakes that you didn’t see before. 


Intro 

Every affidavit comes with a statement about why you are writing the document, this is considered the introduction. You want to talk about what happened that caused you to need to create an affidavit. For example, if you witnessed a car accident, then you want to say that you saw the car accident and what the situation was. If you saw which car hit the other, state this, and also include the make and color of each car if you know it. 


Your Statement 

The most important part of an affidavit is the official statement that is written about the situation. If you witnessed an accident, then telling what you saw is important in determining who was at fault. So, don't let your opinion cloud your judgment. Stick to the facts and talk only about what you know for sure. Speculation will not help the case, so be as accurate as possible, but don't make any judgments.


Double-Check Everything 

Before you have your affidavit notarized, you want to check all your information for accuracy. You don’t want there to be any discrepancies in your statement, and you don’t want there to be any confusion in what your statement is saying. So, look it over many times and make sure that what you are saying is crystal clear. 

You also want to ensure that your document abides by all legal details. If not, then your affidavit might not be used, or it may not make a difference. So, check all your information and ensure any small details are perfect so your document won’t go to waste due to a minor detail that renders it unusable. 

No matter what type of affidavit you need to create, the process can be made a lot easier with the use of affidavit templates. However, you still want to know all the information that you will use to fill each section of the template. So, with these tips, you can make sure you have everything you need.