An affidavit of domicile is a short legal document that helps to establish a person’s place of residence following his or her death. The document is primarily used in probate court, which is the court that helps distribute the decedent’s (deceased person’s) property to his or her heirs.
When you begin creating an affidavit of domicile, you will be asked to input a little information about the decedent. Naturally, the most important piece of information here is the decedent’s place of residence or “domicile.” When the decedent has lived in only one place for a long time, it’s easy to figure out the domicile. However, when a decedent had traveled a lot, had multiple homes prior to death, was a minor, or was mentally incompetent, this can get a little tricky.
See our article How Do I Determine Someone’s Domicile or Residency? for help in making this determination.
The “affiant” is the person who is signing the affidavit and swearing that the decedent was indeed a resident of the place named in the document at his or her time of death. When asked to specify the affiant’s relationship with the decedent, you can pick between the following:
An “executor” is the person named in the decedent’s last will and testament to be responsible for coordinating the distribution of the decedent’s property. If the will does not specify an executor or the decedent dies intestate (without a will), an “administrator” will be appointed by the court. Lastly, select “personal representative” if the affiant was nominated by the decedent as a representative to handle his or her financial affairs in some other document, such as a durable power of attorney.
On the next step, you will have the option of specifying the location of the decedent’s stocks and bonds at the time of death. This step is optional and is meant to help the probate court in determining which laws will apply to giving away those assets.
After filling out the form, the affiant will sign and date it in the presence of a notary, who will sign in acknowledgement at the bottom. While not all jurisdictions require a notary to sign, it is highly recommended that a notary always be used in case there should ever be a dispute as to the validity of the document.
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