An affidavit of heirship is a written document that provides the probate court with information about the family members and heirs of a decedent. The affiant—the person writing the affidavit—must sign the affidavit under penalty of perjury. Once the affidavit is filed with the probate court, the court may distribute assets of the estate pursuant to the state's intestate succession statute. This statute sets forth the order and priority of how to distribute the decedent's assets. Typically, the assets pass to the surviving spouse and then equally among the decedent's children.
Gather the following information: your name and address; the number of years you knew the decedent; when the decedent died; the decedent's date and place of birth; and the names, birthdates and dates of death of the decedent's spouse, children, siblings and parents.
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Obtain a blank affidavit of heirship form. Check with the local probate court for forms specific to your state and county. In addition, forms are available over the Internet at sites such as U.S. Legal and Access Legal Forms.
Fill out the lines regarding your name, address and how well you knew the decedent. This often appears at the top of the affidavit of heirship.
Answer questions regarding whether or not the decedent left a will and whether the will was admitted to probate. Not every affidavit of heirship requires this information.
Fill out the boxes asking for the names, addresses, birthdates and dates of death (if applicable) of the decedent's spouse and children. If the decedent died unmarried and without children, fill out the boxes asking for the names, addresses, birthdates and dates of death (if applicable) of the decedent's parents and siblings.
Sign the affidavit in the presence of a notary public. Notarize the document.