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An Affidavit of Heirship is a document through which someone confirms a deceased person's family and marital history. The deceased person is called the "decedent" and the person swearing the Affidavit is called the "affiant." The affiant, in this case, must be a neutral, disinterested party. What that means is that the affiant must not stand to inherit anything from the decedent's estate - in other words, they must not be one of the heirs. The affiant must, however, be someone who personally knew the decedent and knows their family and marital history.
This document is most often used when a decedent passes away without a will and the details of their estate and the heirship must be made clear to distribute property. It can also, however, be used even when the decedent passes away with a will and the probate court requires further information or further proof.
Affidavits of Heirship contain all the significant details about the decedent and their family such as:
1. Full legal name;
2. Date of birth;
3. Last address;
4. Date of death;
5. Marital history, if applicable;
6. Information on children, if applicable;
7. Information on grandchildren, if applicable;
8. Information on siblings, if applicable;
9. Information on other heirs; if applicable
10. Real property left; and
11. Unpaid debts.
How to use this document
This document can be completed by any individual who has been asked to verify the marital and family history of someone that has just passed away.
Although it may be relatively long, this document is easy to fill out and contains the basic information needed for a complete Affidavit of Heirship.
Once it is filled out, the Affidavit must be notarized, which means the affiant signs before a Notary Public, after providing valid legal identification.
An Affidavit of Heirship, and what is required in it, will generally be covered by state law. Some states even have model forms to assist in ensuring all of the correct information is there. This form contains all of the information needed.
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