Sworn statements or affidavits are basic legal tools that can be useful in personal and business dealings. These documents are used for many different reasons, from affirming your entitlement to benefits or requesting documentation from a government entity to detailing the contractor services received when building a home. A basic sworn statement requires a few simple details, making this a document you can prepare without the need for extensive legal knowledge or experience.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Computer with printer or pen and paper
- Notary fees
- Witness (if applicable)
Begin the affidavit with a statement indicating that you have been sworn in by the notary public or other governmental official and have affirmed on oath the information that follows. Include your full, legal name.
In the next paragraph, state your age (you must be 21 or over for the sworn statement to have legal merit) and affirm that you are in sound mind, possessing no mental disability or other issue that would make you legally unqualified to create a sworn statement.
State the date of the occurrence, if attesting to something you witnessed or experienced, as well as all pertinent information. If making a sworn statement for another reason, such as proving your authority to request information such as birth or death certificates, give your reasons and attach any pertinent information that proves your cause. If there is more than one piece of information to be attested to, number the facts for clarity.
Include this sentence after the necessary information has been recorded: "Under penalty of perjury under the laws of _(your state), I swear that the statements made in this document are, to the best of my knowledge, true, correct and complete."
Take the unsigned document to a notary public or other official who has authority to administer oaths. After taking your oath, sign and date the affidavit in the presence of the notary or official.
Tips and warnings
- Keep the information in your statement concise and to the point.
- If you are unable to sign in the presence of a notary, for example, in emergency situations, have a witness sign and date your informal sworn statement. Get contact information for the witness so that you can seek a more formal affidavit at a later date.
- The information contained in this article is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Laws may change from state to state; if in doubt, check with a legal professional.
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