An Affidavit of Death is a document that is used to assert that someone, known as the Decedent, has died, and to then claim an interest in the Decedent's estate, such as money, investments, or physical property. This document can allow a family member or other beneficiary to receive their portion of the estate sooner, take ownership of inherited property, or close the decedent's bank and investment accounts.
Often, an Affidavit of Death and a death certificate are all a beneficiary needs to claim their portion of a Decedent's estate.
How to use this document
This Affidavit should be completed by someone, known as the Affiant, who is attesting under oath that the Decedent has passed away and that they have a legitimate claim to some portion of the Decedent's estate. This Affidavit requires information identifying the Decedent, such as their name, state of residency prior to their death, and social security number. The Affidavit also asks for the date of the Decedent's death and requires that a copy of the official death certificate be attached in order for the beneficiary to support their claim. Finally, the Affidavit includes information about the Decedent's estate, including its total value and a description of the specific funds or property that the beneficiary is claiming.
Once the Affiant completes the Affidavit of Death, they should sign it and have it notarized to make it an official document. This document can then be submitted to courts, banks, and other institutions that are holding the Decedent's property to which the beneficiary has a legitimate claim.
There are no laws outlining exactly what must be put into an Affidavit of Death. There are, however, some generally accepted practices for creating such documents, including making sure the information is robust enough to be persuasive to an authority that the Affiant has accurate knowledge about the Decedent's death.
Matters of inheritance and claims to an estate are a matter of state law. Prior to making a claim to a Decedent's estate, the Affiant should be sure that the Decedent's estate has been properly probated by a local court.
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