What Is an Affidavit of Heirs?

An Affidavit of Heirs or Affidavit of Heirship is a sworn statement, given under oath, that identifies the relatives who may be the heirs of a person who passes away. The Affidavit of Heirs should list the names, ages, and addresses of the decedent’s relatives, and it should indicate the date of death of any deceased relatives. The court relies on an Affidavit of Heirs.

Why is an Affidavit of Heirs filed?

The Affidavit of Heirs is filed in probate proceedings as proof of who the deceased person’s relatives are for purposes of providing them with notice of the proceeding and to determine who is entitled to the deceased person’s assets. Generally, an Affidavit of Heirs is filed when a person dies without a will, but some courts require the filing of an Affidavit of Heirs even if the decedent had a will. Some courts also require that an Affidavit be filed in guardianship proceedings to identify the ward’s next of kin for purposes of providing notice of the proceeding.  

Who fills out an Affidavit of Heirs?

An Affidavit of Heirs must be filled out by someone who is personally familiar with the deceased’s family structure and relatives. This person who signs the affidavit is known as the “affiant.”

Does an Affidavit of Heirs need to be notarized?

Yes, an Affidavit of Heirs needs to be notarized.

An Affidavit of Heirs must be signed by the affiant before a notary public, and a notary seal is required for the document to be legally valid. Florida law now allows remote online notarization of documents, such as the Affidavit of Heirs; however, the notary and the notarization process must strictly comply with Florida Statutes §§ 117.201-117.305. 

When do I need a probate lawyer?

If a loved one passes away with or without a will, you should contact a probate lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.  Depending on the circumstances, different alternatives may be available to probate an estate, and an experienced probate lawyer can help you decide the best and most cost-effective way to handle your loved one’s estate.

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About RMO Lawyers, LLP

RMO LLP provides personal and efficient inheritance dispute services to individual and institutional clients. The firm’s attorneys focus on probate litigation involving contested trust, estate, probate, and conservatorship matters. Serving California and Texas, with offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange County, San Diego, Fresno, the Bay Area, Dallas, and Houston. For more information, please visit https://rmolawyers.com/.

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About the Author

Scott Rahn, Founding Partner

Scott Rahn resolves contests, disputes and litigation related to trusts, estates and conservatorships, creating a welcome peace of mind for clients. He represents heirs, beneficiaries, trustees and executors. He utilizes his experience to develop and implement strategies that swiftly and efficiently address the financial issues, fiduciary duties and emotional complexities underlying trust contests, estates conflicts and probate litigation.

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