There are all sorts of reasons why someone might need an affidavit. They can be used in contract negotiations, help settle the estate of someone who dies with no will, assert a person’s legal name change, and much more. An affidavit is a sworn, notarized statement and providing incorrect information in one can be considered perjury. Since the document is so important, it must be prepared with utmost care. How do you do it? Here’s a step by step process.
Step 1: Important Information
First, write the title of your affidavit, followed by the word “Affidavit” in the center of the page. Then, write the state and county where the affidavit is being required, and the name of the person making the statement (called the affiant). If the affidavit is being used as testimony for a court case, you’ll also need a case caption which identifies the case name and number and the court venue and names all plaintiffs and defendants involved.
Finally, include any relevant personal information about the affiant. This may include their date of birth, current occupation, immigrant status, or a number of other things, depending on the reason for the affidavit.
Step 2: The Statement
Once the identifying information is complete, it’s time to write out the reason for the affidavit. As the affiant, write in the first person and present the facts in a numbered list. Be as specific as possible and include names, dates, addresses, etc. whenever you can.
However, only provide information that you know firsthand or can positively verify. Don’t present any information that you heard from someone else, and don’t speculate about the information or try to draw your own conclusions.
If you want, you can include supplemental material to clarify or verify your statement, including official documents, photos, etc. Number each piece of evidence and refer to it in the affidavit by number (e.g. Exhibit 1).
When you’re finished writing out the facts, end with a statement affirming that everything in the affidavit is true and complete to the best of your knowledge, and that you understand the consequences if the statement is found to be false.
Step 3: Notarization
When the statement is finished, it must be notarized. Create a line for the signature and date, with the affiant’s name printed below it. Then, bring the affidavit to a notary public. They will write a statement at the end, saying that the affidavit was brought to them by the affiant, who swore to its contents and provided legal identification (e.g. driver’s license or passport). The affiant will then sign the affidavit in the presence of the notary. The notary will then also sign the affidavit and stamp it, making it official.
The process of creating an affidavit isn’t a difficult one, but the procedure must be followed very carefully. Once completed, it’s a legal document that can be used as testimony or evidence. If you’re nervous about getting the technical details right, talk to a lawyer who can help you prepare it properly. In many areas, set affidavit forms are also available at the county courthouse, to help you with the formatting and preparation. The important thing, though, is the facts that you’re stating. Just tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and you’ll be all right.
How to Write an Affidavit