Affidavit of Heirship

Affidavit of Heirship Template, Format: Affidavit of Heirship Definition and Details

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Affidavit of Heirship Definition is as follows:

The Affidavit of Heirship is a kind of affidavit that declares a family member or immediate family member as the heir of a deceased person. Therefore, an affidavit of heirship declares heir or heir’s as the rightful property owners of the deceased person.

An affidavit of heirship is used when an individual passes away and they did not have a will or any other instructions for their distribution of wealth after their death. The affidavit of heirship states who the rightful heir or heirs of the deceased are. These heirs are typically related to the deceased by blood such as children, parents or immediate family members such as the spouse.

What is an Affidavit of Heirship?

An affidavit of heirship is typically signed by any immediate family members or blood relatives in order to distribute the rights to ownership related to any property or wealth such as real estate, earnings, joint bank accounts or credit cards owned by the decedent. The affidavit is a legal requirement of states, banks or businesses as a precursor to the transfer of any rights to ownership or to any other acts of retitling personal belongings such as bank accounts, credit cards or any vehicles. People often mix affidavit of heirship with an affidavit of death which is closely related documents.

After an affidavit of heirship is signed the heirs do not have to go through the lengthy and complicated process of managing the distribution of wealth through a probate court. It mainly includes the details of all the important personal relationships of the decedent such as their spouse, children, parents, siblings or even grandchildren or nieces and nephews so that the wealth can be distributed fairly. Moreover, it comprises basic information related to the deceased individual’s identity, the affiant’s identity and the property and assets owned by the decedent.

Most states require the affidavit to be signed by an individual ‘affiant‘ who does not have any direct stake in the distribution and will not benefit through any distribution of wealth but personally knows the deceased individual and can confirm the death of that individual. The signed affidavit is required to be submitted to the court as well as the deed record of the county of the property.

An affidavit of heirship generally includes the following information:

    • Identity information of the decedent.
    • The confirmation of intestacy, meaning that it has been confirmed that the decedent has left no will for their wealth distribution after their death.
    • A description and location of the property and assets owned by the decedent.
    • A list of all the real estate property owned by the decedent whether in the form of empty lands or houses or fully constructed buildings.
    • A list of all the valuable Personal belongings of the decedent such as their bank accounts, vehicles or bank accounts and credit cards etc.
    • All the rightful heirs and their relationship to the decedent.
    • Signatures and identity information of the Affiant and witness, in the case of affidavits of heirship the affiant also acts as the witness for the death and as the attestor for the accuracy and truthfulness of the information stated in the document.
    • The name and signed signature of the notary.

Some states restrict the family members from using the affidavit of heirship as a means to transfer ownership of personal property of the decedent such as, credit cards and bank accounts. However, other states do not place any such restrictions and the affidavit assists in the transfer of ownership for many types of assets provided that all the rightful heirs have reached a consensus.

Do I need an Affidavit of Heirship?

If your loved one has deceased and did not leave a will or a will that could be deemed valid or enforceable according to the laws then you will need to obtain an affidavit of heirship in order to take any form of control over the property and assets of your deceased loved one. As a family member or blood relative you can not legally transfer ownership of the decedent’s property unless you get yourself and other potential heirs declared as a rightful and legal heir within the affidavit of heirship signed by a disinterested third-party.

It is also important to note that if there are any disputes or conflicts between the potential heirs regarding the distribution of property it will make the process more difficult and lengthier. An affidavit can only be utilized when all the individuals that the court or laws deem to be rightful heirs, all agree to the distribution and reach a mutual agreement. In case there are disputes between the potential heirs, the matter will need to be submitted to the probate court to be resolved.

There are many instances where an instruction within the will may not be legally valid. Such as the language used may incorporate ambiguity such as it might state “my brother should use my car after my death” but this will be deemed unenforceable by the law as the will is required to be more clearer in its instructions and state something such as “the ownership rights of my [certain] car will be transferred to my brother”. In such cases, the family members will be forced to resort to an affidavit of heirship.

The affidavit can help remove such ambiguity from the will and make the distribution of ownership more enforceable through the use of more clear language in compliance with the needs of the courts and the state.

What if I don’t obtain the Affidavit of heirship?

An affidavit of heirship is the most convenient and cost-effective approach to wealth distribution after a legally enforceable will. If you do not utilize the affidavit of heirship then you and other heirs will need to submit the matter to the probate court to resolve the matter which means more time and financial resources to be spent. This process can be very lengthy and intricate as you may have to wait for months or sometimes years in order to get a judgment by the court.

When you do not have an affidavit of heirship or any other legal instrument for wealth distribution for the decedent then you will not be able to:

    • Sell the decedent’s property.
    • Have any entitlement over their bank accounts or retirement funds or investments.
    • Sell their personal property such as cars or other vehicles.
    • Make any decisions related to the management or disposal of the decedent’s property.
    • authorize any transfers or distribution of wealth.

Affidavit of Heirship Common Purposes of Use

It is common for the spouses of the decedents to utilize an affidavit of heirship if they were not made a legal owner or co-owner of the property in the real estate deed which is an important legal document used to declare who owns certain property or who it will be assigned to after death. Other than real estate property, the spouse or any other blood relative may also utilize the affidavit of heirship when they want to transfer ownership of any vehicles to themselves.

Moreover, some states allow the heirs to use the affidavit to transfer rights of ownership or retitle personal belongings such as funds from the bank accounts of the deceased.

What to include in an Affidavit of Heirship

The required content and information within the affidavit can vary with different states. Some states might require only one witness and return mailing address while others require that there is more than one witness and preparation statements. However, almost every affidavit of heirship will have the following information:

    • Identity and personal information of the witnesses, who warrant that the information and details stated in the affidavit are accurate and true.
    • Identity and personal information of the decedent such as their name, residential address, and date of birth and death etc.
    • The names and details of all the legitimate heirs including how they are related to the decedent such as they are the decedent’s children, spouse or parents.
    • All the property whether real or personal of the decedent and other details pertaining to this property such as where they are located, any applicable documents related to the property such as real estate deeds or car ownership documents or the model or license plate number of the car. Moreover, if personal assets such as bank accounts or credit cards are included then their respective account numbers and the bank names where they are situated should be mentioned.
    • Any debts or liabilities pertaining to the decedent.
    • Any related or applicable attachments such as legal documents related to the decedent’s ownership of assets.
    • Dated signature and name of the notary who has attested the proper execution of the affidavit.

Affidavit of Heirship Template Preview

Affidavit of Heirship Template and Format

As to                                                                (Deceased Person Name)

This form is executed as a will or other instructions for any wealth or assets distribution have not been left by the decedent. The affiant warrants that neither the decedent has left a will nor any matter related to the decedent’s property has been submitted to a probate court.

I, as the affiant, __________________________, swear under oath and warrant that I was personally familiar with and knowledgeable about the decedent during their lifetime and that I have known them for __________________ years, and bear the relationship of a __________________ with the decedent, that I have fully stated all the rightful heirs of the decedent and described their relationship to the decedent accurately and truthfully to the best of my knowledge and that I have not excluded any eligible heir.

I, the affiant, hereby also swear under oath that I am of legal age and hold the authority and capacity to sign as the affiant.

  1. The affiant also confirms the following:

The decedent died on ____________________, residing at the address _______________(city), ______________ (state) and __________________(county) before death. The decedent died at the address ___________ (city), ______________ (state) and ______________(county).

  1. The decedent had the following marital history: 
Spouse NameMarried onDivorced on Spouse’s Date of Death

 Note: Leave this section blank if and specify that the decedent never married anyone during their lifetime.

  1. The following is an accurate and complete list which includes the name and other pertaining information of all the decedent’s children whether biological or adopted:
Children NamesResidential addressDOBOther parent’s nameChild’s Date of Death

Note: In case there were no children during the decedent’s lifetime leave this section, empty and specify that there were no children.

  1. In case any of the children of the decedent have deceased provide their following information:
    Deceased Child’s Name:        
The deceased child had a will
The will was Probated

In case they left a will specify the state and county of probate court: ________________________

Deceased Child’s Children NamesCurrent AddressDate of BirthDate of DeathName and Current Address of Deceased Child’s Surviving Spouse

Deceased Child’s Name:                                                                                                                   

The deceased child had a will
The will was Probated

In case they left a will specify the state and county of probate court: ________________________

Deceased Child’s

Children Names

Current AddressDate of BirthDate of DeathName and Current Address of Deceased Child’s Surviving Spouse

Deceased Child’s Name:                                                                                                                   

The deceased child had a will
The will was Probated

In case they left a will specify the state and county of probate court: ________________________

Deceased Child’s Children NamesCurrent AddressDate of BirthDate of DeathName and Current Address of Deceased Child’s Surviving Spouse
  1.   In case the decedent neither married during their lifetime nor had any children then provide the following information about the decedent’s parents:
DECEDENT’S PARENTSNameCurrent AddressDate of Death

 Do not answer the question 6,7 and 8 in case the decedent has surviving children.

  1. Information about the decedent’s siblings is stated below:

Name of siblings


Current Address


Date of Birth


Date of Death

Note: In case the decedent had no siblings leave this section empty and specify that there were no siblings.

  1.   The information about children of deceased siblings is stated below:
 Name of Nieces/ Nephews Current AddressDOBDeceased Parent’s Name

Note: In case the deceased siblings had no children leave this section empty and specify that there were no children.




Affidavit of Heirship Statement

State of: [NOTARY STATE],

County of” [NOTARY STATE],

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to Before me, [NOTARY NAME], Notary Public, On this [DATE] day of [MONTH],[YEAR].



Notary Signature & (Notary Seal)
My commission expires:  _____________________

On this day, before me, [NOTARY NAME], Notary Public, personally appeared [AFFIANT NAME], known to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that they executed the same for the purposes and consideration expressed therein in their authorized capacity.

WITNESS, my hand and seal of office.



Notary Signature & (Notary Seal)
My commission expires:  _____________________.


State of: __________________

Country of: _______________

I [CORROBORATING AFFIANT], am of lawful age and being duly sworn, depose and say that information provided by the affiant in the aforementioned affidavit is based upon their personal knowledge and is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge.

Corroborating Affiant Signature

SWORN and SUBSCRIBED Before me, [NAME OF NOTARY], Notary Public, On this [DATE HERE] day of [MONTH], [YEAR].



Notary Signature & (Notary Seal)
My commission expires:  _____________________

NOTE: The affidavit of heirship can be signed by any individual who was personally acquainted with the decedent during their lifetime provided that they are a disinterested third party who will not benefit from this affidavit.

The corroborating affidavit can only be signed by an individual who is not a member of the family.

The affidavit of heirship must be notarized and recorded with deed records or real property records in the county or parish records where the property of the decedents located and furnish a certified copy to any company upon request.

Razia Saeed

Razia Saeed is the Founder and CEO of She is one of the renowned, highly experienced, and highly paid attorneys practicing in Hongkong, and Singapore. She also provided startup, business and legal consultations to US, Canadian and European firms and companies. She started in the aim of providing inexpensive legal services with top quality to the clients. She is also the head of our editorial department and his junior councils work as authors under her for creating and publishing content on various blogs.

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