Heirship Legal Terminology

There are many terms that deal with Heirship from a legal standpoint. Following is a list of terminology and definitions concerning the legal process of Heirship:

Affiant – Any person having the intellectual and mental capacity to take an oath or make an affirmation and who has knowledge of the facts that are in dispute may make an affidavit. There is no age requirement for an affiant. As long as a person is old enough to understand the facts and the significance of the oath or affirmation he or she makes, the affidavit is valid.

Affidavit – A written declaration made under oath before a notary public or other authorized officer. An affidavit is a written statement made voluntarily, confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the party making it, and signed before an officer empowered to administer such oaths.

It usually names the place of execution and certifies that the person making it states certain facts and appeared before the officer on a certain date and sworn to the statement.

An affidavit is made voluntarily without any cross examination of the affiant and is not the same as a deposition, a record of an examination of a witness, or a party made either voluntarily or pursuant to a subpoena. A pleading is a request to a court to exercise its judicial power in favor of a party that contains allegations or conclusions of facts. Pleadings differ from an affidavit, which states facts under oath.

Affidavit of Heirship – A statement of facts relating to the death and heirship of the decedent that is sworn and attested to before a notary public. An Affidavit of Heirship must be executed by someone who knew the decedent but cannot gain financially from the estate. Get a free Affidavit of Heirship form online.

Decedent – A person who has died.

Heirship – The right to inherit property.

Intestate – Someone has died without a will.

Oath – An oath is essential to an affidavit. The statement of the affiant does not become an affidavit unless the proper official administers the oath.

Probate – The legal process of executing the estate of a deceased person by resolving the claims against it and distributing the decedent’s property under a will. A court decides the validity of a testator’s will. A probate interprets the instructions of the deceased, makes the decision on the executor as the personal representative of the estate, and settles the interests of heirs and other interested parties.

Testator – A person who has died and left a valid will.

Will – Legal declaration by which a testator names one or more persons to manage his or her estate and provides for the transfer of property at death.

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