Sometimes, you or your lawyer might not fully know all of the facts of your case. You want to ask potential witnesses various questions. Learn how to write an affidavit to gather essential information.
The goal of an affidavit is to have a witness testify under oath that certain facts are true to the best of his knowledge. The affidavit must be voluntary. No one can force you to give testimony in an affidavit.
An affidavit can be used to collect facts before a case begins. It can be used for preliminary hearings of a court case. Or, it can be used once the court trial has begun.
There are a lot of court hearings and you might not need to testify at each one. Filing an affidavit saves you time. You don’t have to continually attest to the same facts, over and over again.
You should start by stating the name of the person giving the testimony, called the “affiant.” State that this is the affidavit of such and such a person in the title.
If you have a court case, then you can include that information under the title. The court case information should include the court name, county, state, defendant, plaintiff and case number. Include the name, home address, work address, birth date and occupation of the affiant.
You can explain why this individual is presenting testimony. You should also state whether the affiant is related to any parties in the case. This relationship might be key to credibility and potential conflicts of interest.
First Person Singular Voice
The affiant must pretend that he is speaking directly to the court. Therefore, he must use the first person singular voice throughout the affidavit – “I” or “Me.”
Try to place each relevant fact in its own paragraph. You can reference other documents as “exhibits.” Finish by creating a signature and notary public block.
When Are Affidavits Used?
Affidavits can be used for many purposes, but are especially important for family law and estate planning. A will is a type of affidavit. Banks might use affidavits too.
Even though you are not in front of a court, you can still be punished for perjury if you lie in an affidavit.
Do I Need a Notary Public?
You must get a notary public to authenticate an affidavit. They must witness, sign and seal the affidavit. You will be required to pay the notary public a small fee.
Sign the Affidavit
Your signature is one of the necessary requirements to make the affidavit legal. You will attest to the date, time and fact that you were not forced to give testimony. Furthermore, you must state that the facts in the affidavit were true to the best of your knowledge.
The court will also assume that you are asserting that you are an adult, of sound mind and able to testify in a court of law concerning the facts that you discuss in the affidavit.