Affidavit of Heirship Form

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An Affidavit of Heirship is a written solemn oath that verifies the named individual is a legal heir of someone who died. Generally, the document is used if a person dies without a will and the probate court is trying to determine how the estate should be distributed. It may also be used by an heir who wishes to take possession of the decedent's estate so that they may transfer the title or ownership of something that belonged to the decedent.

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What is an Affidavit of Heirship?

An Affidavit of Heirship is a legal document that declares that someone is the heir of a deceased person. Typically, an heir is a blood relative of the deceased, such as a spouse, child, or other immediate family members. An affidavit such as this may be used to declare rightful ownership over property or an estate.

Other Names For an Affidavit of Heirship

  • Heirship Affidavit

When To Use an Affidavit of Heirship

Whenever someone dies without a will and leaves real or personal property behind, their heirs may need to open a case in probate court in order to have title to that property pass to them. Quite possibly the most widely used and least expensive way to do this is with an Affidavit of Heirship.

An Affidavit of Heirship can be used if you want to transfer title from a deceased loved one's name into your own name in the following situation:

  • The decedent died without a will (intestate);
  • You want to identify yourself as the decedent's lawful heir;
  • You want to assume possession of the decedent's estate without going through probate; and/or
  • All of the decedent's heirs have agreed on how the decedent's estate should be disbursed.

With an Affidavits of Heirship, you can transfer title to real property a lot cheaper and faster than through the probate process. This is because you don't have to go to court.

Affidavits of Heirship are commonly used to transfer real estate that is titled in the name of a spouse or family member who has died intestate, as well as, when there is a will and all of the decedent's heirs agree on how the decedent's estate should be disbursed.

It is important to note, however, an Affidavit of Heirship will not work in every situation. Each state differs on how an Affidavit of Heirship may be used.

Legal Considerations for an Affidavit of Heirship

  • Required Signatures

To be effective, an Affidavit of Heirship has to be taken before a notary republic and signed by 2 disinterested third parties who have personal knowledge of the decedent and his or her family. Most importantly, the witnesses must swear that, based on their personal knowledge of the decedent and his or her family, the persons listed as the decedent's heirs in the document are in fact his or her true heirs.  A notary signature and notary seal are required.

  • Filing an Affidavit of Heirship

An Affidavit of Heirship must be filed with the county records of the county where the property is situated. Usually, after having been on record for a number of years, an Affidavit of Heirship that was filed properly will be deemed valid. Until then, some title companies will have a problem with you trying to sell or transfer title to the property to any third party.

Sample Affidavit of Heirship

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Sample Affidavit of Heirship

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