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A Professional Insight on Writing a Maryland Affidavit
Whether you wish to file an affidavit for a small estate or a motor vehicle, knowing the ins and outs of Maryland Affidavits laws is essential. You need to understand what an affidavit is, what types of affidavits exist and how to fill one out correctly.
What is an Affidavit?
An affidavit is a written statement that is notarized. For an affidavit to be admissible in court, it must be sworn to or affirmed by the person who made the statement.
In Maryland, an affidavit must be:
Sworn to by the person making the statement
Signed by a notary public or other person authorized by law to administer oaths
What Is the Purpose of an Affidavit?
The purpose of an affidavit is to provide facts or evidence. An affidavit can be used in both criminal and civil cases.
In a criminal case, an affidavit may be used to establish probable cause for an arrest or search warrant. In a civil case, an affidavit may be used to support or oppose a motion, such as a motion for summary judgment.
Types of Affidavits
There are many different affidavits, each with a specific purpose. The common types of affidavits are:
Affidavit of Heirship For a Motor Vehicle
When the owner of a motor vehicle dies, the title to the car must be transferred to the heir. The heir can do this by filling out and signing an Affidavit of heirship for a motor vehicle.
Affidavit of Heirship For Small Estates
When someone dies without a will, their property (known as the estate) must be divided among their heirs according to Maryland law. The heir can do this by filling out and signing an Affidavit of heirship for a small estate.
Statutory Declaration Form
A statutory declaration is a written statement made in place of an oath. In other words, it is a sworn statement not made in front of a notary public.
A statutory declaration is mainly applied in cases where the person making the statement cannot appear in person to make a sworn statement.
Self-Proving Affidavit Form
A self-proving affidavit is an affidavit that includes a notarized statement from the person who made it. This type of affidavit does not need to be notarized again when submitted as evidence.
A general affidavit is an affidavit that can be used for any purpose. This type of affidavit is often used in small claims court or when the person making the statement does not have a specific form to use. For instance, you would use a general affidavit if you need to write an affidavit to support your motion for summary judgment.
How to Fill Out an Affidavit
Now that you know the different types of affidavits in Maryland, it is time to learn how to fill one out. The first step is to choose the correct form. Once you have the form, you will need to fill in the following information:
The name and address of the person making the statement (affiant)
The name of the court where the affidavit will be filed
The case number, if known
A brief description of the case
The facts or evidence being sworn to or affirmed
The date of the affidavit
The signature of the affiant
The signature of the notary public or other person authorized to administer oaths
Once you have filled out the affidavit, have it notarized. The notary public will verify the identity of the person who signed the affidavit and sign and stamp the document.
If you don't know where to begin when filling a Maryland affidavit, don’t worry. You can download a free printable affidavit template from forms.legal here.