The law does not always mandate you to appear in person during court sessions to give your account or testimony of an event. You may not appear in person, but your written words can stand in place for you. This is where an affidavit form comes in.
If you are conversant with court proceedings, you will know that every witness is required to say certain words before taking the stand to testify.
It can also be referred to as a notarized statement, a statement under oath, or a sworn statement.
The witness usually places their hands on the holy book they believe in and swears by it to tell the truth and nothing but the truth only. This is called swearing under oath in court, and the written form is an affidavit. Creating and submitting a valid affidavit before the court is as good as standing before the court to testify.
The person who makes the statement in an affidavit is the ‘affiant .’In the course of your business and daily interactions, you may be required to create and produce an affidavit. Creating an affidavit is not so complex; all you need is an affidavit form.
The affidavit form to use is dependent on the purpose of the affidavit you wish to make. You can access different affidavit forms of various states in the United States through PrintableAffidavitForm.net. It is also essential that you know what makes up a valid affidavit to avoid having your affidavit rejected. Read on to get a better understanding of an affidavit.
Content of an Affidavit/ Affidavit Form
What is contained in an affidavit differs as there are different purposes for creating an affidavit. The different purposes or events determine what will make up the body of the affidavit. However, there are essential things that every affidavit must contain regardless of its purpose. These are;
- The information which the affiant gives.
- A statement by the affiant swears to the honesty of the information he provides.
- The signature of the person who makes such a statement.
- An attestation that a notary public makes.
This is the part of the affidavit that contains the primary purpose as to why the affidavit is created. For example, as a witness deposing to an affidavit, you must state the facts you are testifying clearly in the affidavit. Note that you must have personal knowledge of the information you are stating before you can swear to it.
It is a crime for an affiant to state facts that he knows to be false. You will be charged with the offense of perjury if you are found guilty of this. This is why it is pertinent that an affiant takes time to read through the information he gives in an affidavit as having personal knowledge. Where you give your viewpoint or belief about a matter, you must state clearly that it is your belief only and not a fact.
A Statement of Oath
In every affidavit, there must be a statement stating that the affiant swears under oath that the information or facts in the affidavit are accurate and not false. This part of an affidavit is crucial and must not be omitted under any circumstances. You must attach the date of the sworn statement.
The Signature of the Affiant
At the end of every affidavit, the affiant must append his signature on the affidavit. This is essential among what makes an affidavit valid in the eyes of the law. When signing an affidavit, you must also state the present date on the affidavit. This signature must be appended on the affidavit in the presence of a notary officer or any authorized officer. Failure to follow this can render the affidavit invalid.
Note also that the person who signs an affidavit must be the person who has given the information and facts contained in the affidavit. The person who has personal knowledge of the information stated and who makes the sworn statement must be the one to sign the affidavit. In some jurisdictions, a minor may be deemed incompetent to make and sign an affidavit. You should contact a lawyer to help you determine this.
Attestation of a Notary Public
A valid affidavit must contain an attestation of a notary public. This is an acknowledgment that an authorized officer gives below an affidavit. Such acknowledgment shows that the affiant has taken every necessary step and sworn on oath in the notary public’s presence. A notary public or an authorized officer basically will do the following;
- Examine your ID to verify that you are who you claim to be.
- Conduct an oath.
- Confirm that you were before the notary.
- Confirm that they saw you append your signature on the affidavit.
- Confirm that you did so without any form of pressure.
Some other necessary things which an affidavit should contain are;
- The court details( court affidavits)
- County where needed.
Different Types of Affidavit
As earlier stated, an affidavit can be used for different purposes. Affidavits generally share identical features. However, some differences may appear depending on the use of such an affidavit. Below are some common categories of affidavits.
As a business owner, it is essential to have an affidavit form on standby and ready for use in case of legal proceedings that may arise. Note, however, that any business affidavit you create must comply with laws that your jurisdiction has laid down for specifics.
As a business owner, you may wish to have the following affidavit forms with you: Affidavit of a lost promissory note, affidavit of a lost document, business records affidavit, Bulk transfer affidavit, affidavit of service, etc.
Financial affidavits are used to assess particular financial data about the affiant. It verifies one’s assets, investments, debts, earnings, expenditures, etc. This form of affidavit is mainly used where there are financial transactions.
Affidavits are common in the courtrooms. It can be used where a witness cannot appear before the court to testify. In such a situation, the witness’s oral testimony can be replaced with his sworn written statement. A valid sworn witness statement will have the same effect as oral testimony. Another use of affidavits in court is to accompany certain documents or written motions. Usually, the court provides the affidavit form, which must be used when bringing an affidavit before it.
Affidavit of Birth
This is a common type of affidavit. It is used to ascertain certain information surrounding your delivery when you lose your birth certificate. Usually, a relative or the doctor who was present at the time of your birth makes this affidavit. Such a person must have personal knowledge of the events surrounding your birth to qualify to make such an affidavit.
Affidavit of Death
This is simply an affidavit that informs the court, creditors, and other necessary parties of the death of a person. The estate administrator is in charge of this affidavit as it helps him carry out his duties effectively.
Small Estate Affidavit
Generally, small estates are topped around $150,000 and have a simpler way through probate procedures. Where you want to go through probate processes, you can create and make use of an affidavit notifying the court that the said estate is small.
Power of Attorney Affidavit
A power of attorney is a legal document signed by a person (principal), giving another (agent) the authority to deal with his property as he pleases and to stand in on his behalf. This given authority is not perpetual as it ceases upon the principal’s death or when the principal revokes it.
Where a power of attorney is given to an agent, he must first fill and sign an affidavit stating that he is acting under the authority of a power of attorney. He must include that the authority has not been revoked and that the principal is still alive.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) About Affidavit Form
Q: Is an affidavit the same thing as a statutory declaration?
Ans: No, both documents are not the same. While an affidavit is always signed under oath and usually used in court, a statutory declaration, on the other hand, is used outside of the court and is not signed under oath.
Q: Is lying in an affidavit punishable under the law?
Ans: Yes, it is an offense to state facts that you know are false or of which you have no personal knowledge. This is an offense of perjury and is punishable under the law. You can be sentenced to prison for some years if found guilty.
Q: Can another person help sign my affidavit?
Ans: No, an affidavit must be signed by the affiant who is making the statement and swearing it before the notary public. When another person, not the affiant, signs an affidavit, it becomes invalid.
Q: Can I affix documents to my affidavit?
Ans: Yes, you can. You can affix any report or statement that supports the information you give in your affidavit.
Q: Where can I get samples of different forms of an affidavit?
Ans: Different states have different affidavit forms for various purposes. Visit PrintableAffidavitForm.net for comprehensive affidavit forms of various states in the United States.
Q: Where do I file an affidavit?
Ans: An affidavit ought to be filed at the provincial court where the case occurs.
Q: Do I need a lawyer to create an affidavit?
Ans: After downloading an affidavit form through Printable Affidavit Form, filling out the form may not be entirely easy and may not require the help of a lawyer. However, because an affidavit is a legal document, it is advisable to contact a lawyer to help you fill out an affidavit form. This is to avoid creating and filing an invalid affidavit.
Affidavit forms differ in different states, so you must ensure that you have the correct affidavit form of the state where you want to file one. Getting these affidavit forms is easier and faster through the Printable Affidavit Form.
Here you have access to different states’ affidavit forms such as Maine Affidavit Form, Kansas Affidavit Form, Louisiana Affidavit Form, Kentucky Affidavit Form, Iowa Affidavit Form, Indiana Affidavit Form, Illinois Affidavit Form, Idaho Affidavit Form, Hawaii Affidavit Form, and several other states.
You will find out more about these different affidavit forms and their purposes here.