How do I get an affidavit?
If you have ever been involved in a court case or witness to courtroom proceedings, you have probably heard someone reference key documents known as affidavits. Affidavits are so common, in fact, that many, if not most court cases and proceedings rely upon them at some point. So, what is an affidavit and how do I get an affidavit? Read on to learn everything you need to know.
What is an affidavit?
An affidavit is a sworn, legal document that contains statements providing facts or evidence intended to be used in a court case or legal proceedings.
When a court case must rely upon the statements provided by an individual with relevant knowledge to the case, the court will require an affidavit.
Affidavits may also be needed for a wide range of situations that require a witness, such as when a transaction takes place before a courtroom, to confirm an individual’s identity, or to verify the legal transfer of property.
An affiant’s statement may also serve as a testimony in a case where there is a lack of physical evidence to consider. A statement intended to be used as an affidavit is usually provided before a judge.
Affidavits are legally binding documents that are provided under oath of law. The statements contained within an affidavit may be used in both criminal and civil cases.
What is an affiant and who can serve as an affiant?
An individual who provides an affidavit is known as an “affiant.”
Any person who has first-hand knowledge of the events or information they are swearing to provide can serve as an affiant. There are no limits on who can serve as an affiant as long as the individual providing the statement is considered to be mature and of sound-mind.
The statements of an affiant must be voluntarily provided under oath to be legally valid. In order to be considered permissible in court, the affidavit must also be notarized in accordance with local state law by a notary public.
While this previously required traditional in-person or mobile notarization, Remote Online Notarization (RON) has made it much more easy and accessible to notarize an affiant’s statement. Remote notarization allows you to create and sign affidavits without the hassle of scheduling a time and place for your affiants and notary to meet in-person.
Types of affidavit
Affidavits are used in many different types of situations, and as such, you may need different types of affidavits depending on your specific situation. Below are some of the most common types of affidavits you may encounter.
- Court affidavits: A court affidavit is required when a witness is required to provide sworn testimony before a courtroom. These are often used when a witness cannot appear in court for some reason or in support of a written motion.
- Self-proving will affidavits: When an individual creates a living will, they must have two witnesses present at the time of notarization. In the past, when the principal died, the witnesses were required to testify in court that their signatures were valid.
A self-proving will affidavit removes this step and allows a will to be automatically deemed valid without testimony from the witnesses.
- Financial affidavits: A financial affidavit verifies the financial information related to an affiant. These types of affidavits are commonly used in divorce proceedings and estate planning.
- Affidavits of identity theft: If an individual has been the victim of identity theft, an affidavit of identity theft will be required to officially report the incident to banks, credit bureaus, and creditors.
- Affidavits of power of attorney: A Power of Attorney (POA) form is a legally binding document that grants an individual or organization (known as an “agent”) the authority to make decisions on behalf of another individual (known as the “principal”).
Since POA authority is revoked at the time of the principal’s death, affidavits of power of attorney are used to verify that the principal is still alive. This guarantees that the power of attorney authority has not yet expired.
- Affidavits of lost documents: If an essential legal document related to given proceedings has gone missing or been destroyed, an affidavit of lost documents may serve in its place. If an individual has enough knowledge of the document to vouch for its existence, then this type of affidavit may be accepted.
How do I get an affidavit?
Even though affidavits are legal documents, pretty much anyone can draft an affidavit.
While certain kinds of affidavits may require specific information to be considered permissible in a case, the basic elements of an affidavit include the following information:
- Add a heading: An affidavit heading typically includes the court case ID, or potentially the names of individuals relevant to the case. It also usually includes information about the jurisdiction the case is taking place within.
- Identify the affiant: The affiant must be clearly identified in the affidavit, and includes a sworn statement that the information provided is correct and true to the best of their knowledge.
- The affiant provides their statement: The statement is usually provided in the form of one fact or declaration per paragraph, written in as much relevant detail as possible.
- Sign and notarize the document: The affidavit must be signed by a commissioned notary public. Their signature acknowledges that the statement was willingly provided by an affiant under oath.
In order to provide a statement for an affidavit, an affiant must simply be willing to sign or eSign the statement in the presence of a third-party, commissioned notary public. This must of course be done in accordance with all applicable state laws.
When you need an affidavit?
When you need an affidavit you will need to have the document notarized in order for it to be legally binding.
This can be done with a traditional in-person or mobile notary, or an affiant can provide their statement using Remote Online Notarization (RON). RON allows an affiant and notary to meet online, at their convenience via audio-visual connection on an online notarization platform.
Before online notarization was possible, affiants would need to go out of their way to schedule a time and place to meet with a notary in order to provide a statement. In addition to costing money and being inconvenient, this could also hold up a case or proceedings longer than necessary.
While this may sound like a lot of work, PandaDoc Notary is a Remote Online Notarization platform that helps you expedite your legal proceedings by allowing you to create, send, eSign, and notarize affidavits with ease.
Remote Online Notarization (RON) makes it easy to create and notarize affidavits
These days, it’s easier than ever to legally record and notarize an affidavit thanks to Remote Online Notarization (RON). Online notarization allows affiants and notaries to skip the inconvenience of traditional notarization services by allowing you to notarize an affidavit virtually online, from wherever you are.
PandaDoc Notary is a Remote Online Notarization (RON) platform that offers a comprehensive solution for your online notarization needs.
PandaDoc Notary offers you the convenience budget-friendly notarization solutions without requiring all parties to be in the same room at the same time. In addition to keeping your documents secure and accessible, PandaDoc Notary will save you time, effort, and money in the long run.
Get started with remote online notarization
PandaDoc Notary provides a reliable, easy-to-use Remote Online Notarization platform ready to meet the specific needs of your business and clients, including notarizing affidavits.
To learn more about how PandaDoc Notary can help you, request a demo.