How to File an Affidavit

By J.S. Nogara

An affidavit is a written document that is made under oath and provides a witness's account of facts. Affidavits are usually utilized in connection with legal matters, but they also are used with regards to insurance and benefits issues. For example, a person may need to file an affidavit to attest to his or her income level to qualify for Medicaid. Additionally, a person may file an affidavit to provide facts for a lawsuit, such as a personal injury suit or a divorce action. An affidavit also may be required in real estate transactions so that the seller provides guarantees that the property to be sold is in fact owned by the seller.

Creating the Affidavit

Obtain all facts relating to the purpose of the affidavit. For example, if the affidavit concerns your version of events as a witness to a crime, be sure to ascertain the place of the crime, the parties involved, if known, the time and date of the crime and all essential facts.

At the top of the page, begin with a statement that you are making the affidavit under penalty of perjury and that the affidavit constitutes sworn testimony. For example, you may write "I, John Doe, make this sworn statement under oath and under penalty of perjury." I make this statement based upon my personal knowledge and belief. For instance, you can write "I make this statement based upon my personal knowledge and belief."

State the facts. Number each of the facts and/or paragraphs for easy reference.

Sign the affidavit in the presence of a notary public at the end of the document, and include your address. Be certain to have the notary provide his or her official stamp and notarization. A notary can usually be found at a bank, legal supply store or law office.

Attach the affidavit to the applicable legal document, and file the document in accordance with the procedural requirements in the particular jurisdiction.

About the Author

J.S. Nogara began writing in 2000, publishing in legal texts, newspapers, newsletters and on various websites. Her credits include updating "New York Practice Guides: Negligence." She is a licensed attorney admitted to the New York State courts and the Federal Court, Southern District in New York. She has a B.S. from the University of Connecticut, a J.D. and an LL.M. degree.

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