Affidavit of Heirship

Jump to Section

Need help with an Affidavit of Heirship?

CREATE A FREE PROJECT POSTING
Post Project Now

When someone passes away with a valid will, each heir’s inheritance is determined in terms of the will. When a person passes away without a will, however, it can be challenging to determine who the decedent’s heirs are.

In this case, the affidavit of heirship plays a vital role. It helps to establish who the decedent’s heirs are and how their assets should be distributed. But how does the affidavit of heirship work and what information should it contain.

In this post, we’ll look at the affidavit of heirship in more detail.

What is an Affidavit of Heirship?

An affidavit is a written statement given under oath and verified, usually by a notary, that provides facts that can be used as evidence in court.

So, an affidavit of heirship is an affidavit where the person providing the affidavit, the affiant, provides detailed information about a deceased person's heirs – or the people who inherit the deceased person’s estate. In this affidavit, the affiant must include the name, age, and address of all the deceased's living relatives and if a relative has passed away, the affiant must provide the name and the date of death of that relative.

Here is an article about affidavits of heirship.

Purpose of an Affidavit of Heirship

When someone passes away without a will, their heirs may need to open a probate court case in order for the title of the properties in the estate to pass to them. Although the requirements vary depending on the county that the probate court is in, an heirship affidavit should be filed in every probate case to provide the court with the necessary information on the decedent's heirs.

These affidavits are generally used when a person dies without a will but only has real property, personal property or had a small estate. It is important to note that, in some states like California, a small estate affidavit is used rather than an affidavit of heirship.

By providing this information, the heirship affidavit helps the court to designate the assets of the decedent by providing the age and location of a decedent’s heirs.

An affidavit of heirship is a good option to handle an interstate state when the:

  • Heirs can identify themselves as the decedent’s lawful heirs.
  • They want to take possession of the estate without going through the entire probate process.
  • The heirs have agreed on how the estate should be distributed amongst them.
  • There is a third party who can verify the heirs’ rights to the deceased's estate.

Ultimately, the affidavit of heirship speeds up the probate process by providing all the relevant details of the relatives, and heirs can avoid the time and expense necessary to handle the intestate estate.

Here is an article about the purpose of an affidavit of heirship.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Christine K.

3 projects on CC
View Profile

Mark D.

5 projects on CC
View Profile

Forest H.

17 projects on CC
View Profile

Meghan P.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

What’s Included In An Affidavit of Heirship

The affidavit of heirship must contain the following information:

  • The details of the affiant . The affiant is the person swearing to the facts in the affidavit. It's important to note that the affiant can't be an heir of the decedent as this would result in a conflict of interest. In other words, when the affiant is an heir of the decedent, it might give the affiant reason to lie in the affidavit.
  • The decedent’s details . The decedent is the person who has passed away without a will. It's this person’s heir’s that is named in the document by the affiant.
  • The decedent’s marital status . If the decedent was married, it's necessary to provide full details of every spouse, when the marriage was terminated, and why the marriage was terminated.
  • Details of the decedent’s children . Full details need to be given about the total number of children the decedent had, including both children born to the decedent and those who were adopted. For every child, full details need to be provided, which include:
    • Name of the child
    • Date of birth of the child
    • Name of the child's other parent, and the
    • Child's address.

If the child is already deceased, the date of death should be provided.

  • Details of the decedent’s other relatives . If the decedent has no living spouses, children, or grandchildren, details need to be given about the decedent's father, mother, brothers, or sisters. If there are none, the names of any other living relatives. It’s worth noting that friends of the decedent are typically not heirs, but if the decedent named a friend to inherit property, then the details of such a friend can be included.
  • Details of the decedent’s real estate and other property . If there is any property that needs to be transferred to the decedent’s heirs, full details of the properties should be given. Likewise, if the decedent isn't transferring any properties or assets to the hairs, this information is not necessary.

Apart from the information above, information can also be provided about the decedent’s debts and liabilities.

The affidavit of heirship, once completed, must be signed and a witness must witness the signature. It's also necessary that a notary public witness the signature of the affidavit. Once the affidavit is completed, signed, and notarized, it needs to be filed with the appropriate court or county recorder's office depending on whether real estate is involved.

Once this is done it creates a record of the decedent’s heirs which can speed up the estate settlement process.

Here is an article about what’s included in an affidavit of heirship.

ContractsCounsel Affadavit of Heirship Image

Image via Pexels by Vidal Balielo

Who Needs an Affidavit of Heirship?

Because the affidavit of heirship can establish who legal heirs of the decedent are, what property the decedent left behind, and how the assets of the decedent should be distributed, heirs need an affidavit of heirship in the event that the decedent passed away without a will.

Also, because it speeds up the probate process and can be executed without involving the probate court, it’s even used in some cases where there is a will.

Get Help With An Affidavit of Heirship

Whenever someone passes away without a will, an affidavit of heirship plays a crucial role in identifying all of the decedent’s heirs. It could, however, be complicated, especially for laypeople to prepare on or know what information it should contain.

Fortunately, estate planning lawyers and probate lawyers have the knowledge and experience to give advice and help where necessary. For more information on estate planning and probate lawyers, visit our website for more details.



Explore Our Network of Lawyers

We recruit and onboard great lawyers so you can find and hire them easily.

Browse Lawyers Now

Meet some of our Affidavit of Heirship Lawyers

ContractsCounsel verified
Managing Partner
11 years practicing
Free Consultation

I run a small law firm in Pasadena, CA. I have been practicing for almost 10 years and the other attorneys at my firm each have 12+ years of experience. We focus on business and employment law, protecting and defending business owners. While my clients are all sizes, I particularly enjoy helping smaller companies and individuals manage their legal needs without the high price tag.

ContractsCounsel verified
Principal
40 years practicing
Free Consultation

I have over 25 years' experience representing individual and company clients, large and small, in transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, private offerings of securities, commercial loans and commercial endeavors (supply contracts, manufacturing agreements, joint ventures, intellectual property licenses, etc.). My particular specialty is in complex and novel drafting.

ContractsCounsel verified
Litigation Attorney
5 years practicing
Free Consultation

I assist individuals and businesses across the state of Florida with contract drafting, contract interpretation, and issues that may arise because of contract terms, including demands (cease-and-desist letters) and litigation. I have experience with general service contracts, non-compete agreements, settlement agreements, and many other contracts. Please reach out if I can help you with a contract-related project!

ContractsCounsel verified
Outside General Counsel / Business Attorney
34 years practicing
Free Consultation

Experienced and broad based corporate/business attorney and Outside General Counsel (OGC), for start-ups, small businesses and growing companies of all sizes, advising and assisting clients with corporate and LLC formation, contracts and agreements, internet and terms of use/service agreements, trademarks and intellectual property protection, the purchase and sale of businesses (M&A), labor and employment matters, compliance and risk management, corporate governance, and commercial leasing matters. See other reviews on my website at www.ogcservices.net/reviews

ContractsCounsel verified
Attorney
34 years practicing
Free Consultation

30+ years as a practicing attorney in Colorado. Real Estate law, entity formation, business acquisitions and real estate development representing sellers and buyers

ContractsCounsel verified
Attorney and Counselor at Law
22 years practicing
Free Consultation

Experienced attorney focusing on estate planning, probate administration, business formation and counseling, and consumer bankruptcy.

ContractsCounsel verified
CEO
35 years practicing
Free Consultation

I focus my practice on startups and small to mid-size businesses, because they have unique needs that mid-size and large law firms aren't well-equipped to service. In addition to practicing law, I have started and run other businesses, and have an MBA in marketing from Indiana University. I combine my business experience with my legal expertise, to provide practical advice to my clients. I am licensed in Ohio and California, and I leverage the latest in technology to provide top quality legal services to a nationwide client-base. This enables me to serve my clients in a cost-effective manner that doesn't skimp on personal service.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call