What is an Affidavit?

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OneNotary Team

April 24, 2021


If you have a legal situation coming up, you may require something known as an affidavit. This is something that you may need if you would like your case to move forward. You might also need a witness affidavit if you would like to get certain information admitted into court. So, what are affidavits oh, and what impact do they have on your legal proceedings? There are several key points you should note.

What Does an Affidavit Mean in Legal Terms?

An affidavit is a sworn statement of facts. Usually, this sworn statement is committed to a piece of paper. Then, this sworn statement may be admitted to court as evidence. Or, it could be used to complete a transaction outside the court of law.

An affidavit can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, you may swear that you have the financial means to support someone. Or, you may complete an affidavit if you would like to change your name. You could even sign the affidavit saying that you have mailed the document to another person. Ultimately, if you need to swear to something in order for something else to move forward, you may need to have something known as an affidavit. Therefore, it should also come as no surprise that they come in many shapes and forms. What are a few common examples you may use?

The Types of Affidavits

There are numerous types of documents that could come in handy for your specific situation:

  • Small Estate: It is called a small estate affidavit. This is most commonly used if a spouse or a close relative dies without leaving behind a will. Then, the signer of this document will be involved in helping to finalize the estate and figuring out what assets have been left behind.
  • Residence: This type is used to verify the residence of a specific person. That person could either be living or dead. For example, you may need to verify your address if you would like your children to attend a certain school. Or, you may need to prove your residence for certain tax reasons.
  • Heirship: You may also need to use something called an Affidavit of heirship. This document is used to assert your legal rights and ownership over a specific piece of property. This usually happens if you have a family member who has passed away recently. You need to swear that you are the rightful heir.
  • Name Change: If you have changed your name legally, a certain business or entity may require evidence that you have actually done so in a court of law. Therefore, you may need an affidavit to confirm this name change. You may also need to state the location at which you changed your name.
  • Service: If you have hired someone to serve documents to someone else, particularly if a lawsuit is involved, you may need to sign something called an Affidavit of service. This means that the documents have, in fact, been delivered to another person.
  • Domicile: This is another document that is closely associated with estate planning. Usually, it used to transfer bonds, stock, cash, or other types of Investments to someone else.
  • Finance: This type is usually used in divorce proceedings. This is used to verify someone’s financial status. This could include yearly income, savings, and other facts related to the finances of someone else.
  • ID Theft: This type of document is exactly what it sounds like: it is used to verify that someone’s identity has been stolen. If you swear that your ID was stolen, your case involving identity theft could move forward with respect to your creditors.
  • Death: If you intend to notify an agency, a business, or even a court of law that someone has died, you may be required to submit something known as an affidavit of death.
  • Support: This type is commonly used in the immigration process. It should be signed by someone who is willing and able to support someone who is immigrating to the country as they navigate their journey to the United States.

Clearly, there are numerous types of affidavits that could be involved in the legal system. It is important for you to understand when you might need to use this document.

When You Might Need an Affidavit


There are countless situations where you might be required to submit an affidavit before something can move forward. A few common examples include:

  • If you are trying to get evidence submitted in a criminal case, you may need to sign a sworn affidavit before that evidence can be admitted.
  • You are trying to get evidence included in a civil case, this is another situation where you may be required to file an affidavit.
  • There is a need to get someone admitted to this country as an immigrant, you may be required to file an affidavit saying that you are able to support them.
  • If you are going through a divorce proceeding, you may be required to file an affidavit as evidence of your current financial status.
  • Your family member has recently died, and you are trying to inherit or dispose of his or her property, including debt, you may be required to file an affidavit for this purpose.
  • If you feel like your identity has been stolen, and you should not be held responsible for the financial transactions of that person, you may be required to file an affidavit on behalf of your creditors.
  • If you are trying to transfer investments or property to someone else, you may be required to file an affidavit before the transaction can be completed.

These are just a few of the many situations where you may be required to file an affidavit. If you do need to file an affidavit, you need to make sure you do so properly. That way, you know your affidavit is being handled appropriately.

Who can Offer an Affidavit?

Just about anyone is able to file an affidavit as long as he or she is relevant to the proceedings that are moving forward. The person who is filing the affidavit is known as the affiant. For example, if someone is a witness to a crime, they may be asked to file an affidavit, so their statements can be admitted to the public record. Or, if someone is going through a divorce proceeding, they may be required to offer an affidavit as evidence of their financial status.

Of course, there are other people who may be able to offer an affidavit as well. For example, if someone you know is going to be immigration process, and you would like to help them out, you might want to submit an affidavit saying you can support them as they adjust to the United States. Or, if you would like to gift a car, a house, or certain Investments to someone else, you may be required to file an affidavit saying this is what you intend to do. If you need to offer an affidavit, you need to make sure you understand exactly how you create one of these.

How To Create an Affidavit

If you have been asked to file an affidavit, you may be wondering how exactly this process happens. Of course, in order to make sure you do this correctly, you may want to work with a trained legal professional. That way, you know you have put together your affidavit correctly. There are several steps you need to follow if you would like to file an affidavit. These include:

  • First, you need to title your affidavit appropriately. Depending on the type of affidavit you are filing, the title could change.
  • Then, you need to craft a statement of identity through it that way, anyone who is reading the affidavit knows you are who you say you are. Of course, your name should match the name that is printed on the affidavit.
  • Next, you need to write a statement of truth. Depending on the reason why you are filing the document, this statement could be structured differently.
  • After this, you need to state the facts exactly as they appear. These facts should be relevant to the statement you have just provided.
  • After this, you should reiterate your statement of truth once again, explaining how your statement of truth stems from the fact exactly as you have explained them.
  • Finally, once you have completed your affidavit, you need to sign the document and have it notarized. You need to work with a notary public who can make sure you have gone through the appropriate process.

If you follow these basic steps, you should be able to create your affidavit.

How To Get a Notarized Affidavit

If you are wondering how to get a notarized affidavit, you have to work with a notary public. In certain situations, you may prefer to work with an online notary. That way, you do not have to worry about driving around town as you try to find a notary public. There are several benefits of becoming an online notary as well. These include:

  • You have an opportunity to make extra money that could help you make ends meet.
  • You get to decide exactly when you are going to work, relax, and focus on other obligations.
  • If you decide to become an online notary, you have fewer overhead expenses because you do not have to travel.
  • Because you do not have to travel, you can also go through more clients, allowing you to make more money.
  • There are numerous industries that have documents that have to be notarized regularly. If you are a notary public, you could become more competitive for these positions.
  • The internet is only becoming more powerful, so becoming an online notary will provide you with skills that are more relevant to the field.

These are just a few of the many benefits of becoming an online notary. If you decide to use OneNotary, you will have access to every tool you need to become an online notary. So, how does the online notarization process work?

Online Notarization Process

If you decide to go through the online notarization process, OneNotary is a streamlined, efficient way to get this process completed. There are several steps involved in the process, including:

  • First, you need to take a look at the openings and select a time that works well for you.
  • Then, you should check your e-mail and click on the link to confirm your appointment.
  • After this, you need to upload your documents to the platform.
  • You may also be asked to answer a few questions to verify your identity.
  • Next, when your appointment time arises, you will meet the online notary to go through the process.
  • Finally, once the online notary has verified your identity and confirm that the document has been filled out correctly, you can get your affidavit notarized.

You can download your notarize the documents and submit them accordingly. Instead of having to drive around town trying to find a traditional notary, you can simply meet with an online notary and go through the process virtually.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several common questions people ask about this process. They include:

Why is it important for me to get my document notarized?

You may need to get your affidavit notarized if you want it to be accepted by the court system. Furthermore, the notarization process is a deterrent against identity theft and fraud.

What exactly is an affidavit in the legal sense?

This is a sworn statement that is admitted to a variety of legal proceedings, including criminal and civil cases. You may also need an affidavit if you would like to carry out certain transactions outside the court of law.

Is it required for an affidavit to be written by hand?

No, this is not required. Even though there are still some people who prefer to write up their documents by hand, many of them are submitted electronically today.

What is the difference between an affidavit and an affiant?

An affiant is a person who is submitting the affidavit. The affiant has to make sure his or her name is printed correctly on the affidavit before it can be submitted.

Make Sure You Get Your Affidavit Notarized

Ultimately, if you have an official document that you would like to get accepted, you have to get it notarized appropriately. In this situation, you might want to work with an online notary. That way, you do not have to worry about driving around town trying to find a traditional notary. You can get your document notarized on your own time before filing it with the court.