How To Write an Affidavit in a Will

An affidavit can be added to your will in order to attest to the fact that you signed your own will.  It also attests to the fact that your witnesses saw you sign your will and they themselves signed it.  The affidavit in this case is referred to as a self-proving affidavit.  This saves your heirs the burden of proving the validity of your will. 

You as well as your witnesses will be asked to swear under oath that all of you have signed and witnessed your will.  After this, the notary public will sign and seal the legal document.

The advantage of having a self-proving affidavit is that your witnesses will not need to appear in probate court.  This saves them time as well as expenses when the moment arises.  Another advantage is that it serves as proof that you are the actual signatory of your will.  Probate court procedures can then be avoided by your heirs.

Unfortunately, not all states use or accept self-proving affidavits.  Ohio, Maryland, Vermont and District of Columbia are examples of states that do not recognize this type of legal document.  California and New York both do not require a self-proving affidavit as proof of a will's validity.

If your state allows the use of a self-approving affidavit, here's how to write one.

  • Obtain the right affidavit form.  Often times, affidavit forms (including self-approving affidavits) are available and all you need to do is to get a blank copy and fill it out.  You can get the form through your lawyer (if you have one), a notary public or via the probate court system in your state.  You can also find examples of self-proving affidavits on the internet.  You can download this for free. If you downloaded or copied the self-proving affidavit from the internet, run it by a lawyer prior first.  The lawyer should verify if the said self-proving affidavit is acceptable to the state's probate court.
  • Once the self-proving affidavit has been approved, choose two impartial individuals who will sign the document as witnesses to your will.  Witnesses should have no interest at all in any and all your property.
  • Go to a notary public with your two witnesses.  Make sure you have both the self-proving affidavit and your will.  At the notary public, you and your witnesses will have to be sworn in.
  • Sign your will in the presence of your two witnesses and the notary public.
  • Ask your two witnesses to sign your will.
  • Sign the self-proving affidavit.
  • Ask your two witnesses to sign the same document.
  • Attach the signed and notarized self-approving affidavit to your signed and witnessed will.

An affidavit is a type of written legal document that is supposed to contain factual information.  In the case of adding an affidavit to a will, this affidavit, known as a self-proving affidavit, attests to the fact that you yourself signed your will together with your two impartial witnesses.  Self-proving affidavits are not accepted in some states but is quite useful especially since it takes away the burden from your heirs of proving the validity of your will.  It is very simple to come-up with a self-proving affidavit because there are forms available in many states across the country.  The internet is also a source of examples of self-proving affidavits.


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