A legal affidavit goes by many names, including sworn statements, notarized statements, and statements under oath. An affidavit is a legal document that contains a written statement that shares similarities to swearing under oath, similar to a witness standing in a courtroom. The document contains the signature of the person making the statement, known as the affiant, and an individual that has the legal authority and jurisdiction to administer the oath, such as a notary public, certain court officials, or government representatives. An affiant is subject to criminal liabilities, including perjury, if they effectively sign a legal affidavit that contains falsified information. Therefore, the affiant must read the contents of the affidavit thoroughly and carefully to ensure that all the information in the document is accurate and factual. If there is an instance that an affidavit also contains statements that are personal opinions or beliefs of the affiant, there must be an explicit indication that these sentences are as such. However, a legal affidavit must be free from personal opinions or beliefs as it can affect the integrity of the document. Remember that the validity of an affidavit relies on the affiant voluntarily writing the document without any force or coercion. Aside from affidavits providing significant information about a case that help judges to make a sound decision, they are also valuable for record-keeping purposes.

According to the information coming from the website of the United States courts, as of March 2020, in the United States Court of Appeals, the filing of cases increased by 5 percent. Civil cases grew by as much as 16 percent, while filings for criminal defendants grew to 3 percent.

Affidavits are, more often than not, legal documents that individuals use as evidence to aid their cases during court hearings and other legal matters. Affiants write affidavits as sworn and written statements to a scenario that is crucial to proving a person guilty or not guilty, depending on the accusations. There are different components of an affidavit that the courts find the most effective when an affiant writes them and delivers them during a courtroom meeting or trial. The section below covers the various elements in a legal affidavit with description to help the reader gain a better understanding, writing them with finesse.

Style of the proceeding: The style of the proceeding section appears on the first page of all documents that people use during court proceedings. It indicates the defendant and the plaintiff, provides the case number of the hearing, and the court registry name, along with the location. The style of the proceeding section remains unchanged throughout the life of the case unless a judge deems it otherwise. A particular style of proceeding enables a court registry staff to classify the document according to the right court file for record-keeping. In the right-hand corner of the page, it must indicate the number of the affidavit, the name of the affiant, and the date of constructing the document. This is also the section where the affiant swears or affirms that they are telling the truth in the affidavit. Statement of the deponent or the affiant: The affiant or the deponent is the individual who writes the affidavit. In this section of the affidavit, the person identifies themself as such. The statement of the deponent must be present at the beginning of each affidavit. It identifies the name of the affiant, their occupation, age, and address. If a person is retired, indicate that they are a retired individual, or write an old age pensioner.Knowledge statement: The knowledge statement of the legal affidavit contains two primary points: one, it indicates whether the person writing the affidavit is the plaintiff, defendant, petitioner, or respondent. Second, it states whether the individual has personal knowledge of the facts and information they share in the affidavit. Remember that an affidavit is a legal document. Therefore, it must not contain details that come from another source unless they are a part of the court case. However, the rule does not apply if the judge applies for a temporary order or interlocutory order. During such scenarios, an affiant can write out information according to their belief and opinions. Make sure that the affiant has legal advice before and when writing their statements as a legal attorney can advise whether they can indicate the information and helps with paraphrasing sentences. When writing information coming from another person, indicate that the affiant also believes these statements to be true.Body of the affidavit: When writing the body of the affidavit, make sure to practice SOS (simple, organized, and short). An affidavit must be simple as possible with organized thoughts and statements that are in chronological order with specific dates and names of individuals, and short enough for it to be effective. Indicate only the most relevant facts, and put information using a numbered list or headings. It is also advisable to construct a draft in the first person. It is also best not to write vague statements, taking the time to draft the document. Make sure that the statements of the affiant are consistent throughout the document. Any inconsistencies that a judge finds in the document can make it unreliable. Ending of the affidavit: At the ending of the affidavit, an affiant swears their statement in front of a lawyer or a notary public. A person can also swear in front of a court official, like a registry clerk. The two parties sign the affidavit at the time the affiant swears on the statements, and the court official or the notary imprint a stamp or seal bearing the name of the lawyer or court official makes it acceptable and official. Exhibits: The exhibit section of the legal affidavit contains an attachment of letters and other documents that are relevant to the case that a judge can consider. If an affiant uses exhibits for the affidavit, arrange them in alphabetical order, with the document having numbered pages. Many law firms have stamps that they put on documents, and these markings go on the first page of every document. Do not put stamps on the documents without first consulting with a lawyer, as it is necessary to add or delete documents for the affidavit.Backing sheet: The backing sheet is the final part of the affidavit. These backing sheets are attachments to all court documents. These consist of three parts, including the style of proceedings, the document description, and the contact information of the affiant, including their address and age. The backing sheet allows the court staff to file documents in the correct court files. However, backing sheets are not a necessity. Registry staff let individuals file their affidavits without such, but it is for formalities’ sake.

Since legal affidavits are legal documents and are essential to the entire litigation process, their contents must be accurate and articulate. The most crucial thing to remember when writing a legal affidavit is to guarantee that its contents are precise, with the writer paying close attention to the necessary details. All legal documents are comprehensive, bear no grammatical and spelling errors, and contain only factual information. Writing the affidavit may seem difficult at first. However, the entire process consists of easy steps. The section below covers the step-by-step procedure on how to prepare a legal affidavit.

  • 1. Understand the Format of the Affidavit and Organize Thoughts and Ideas

    When writing an affidavit, there are several formatting rules and regulations that affiants must follow. The document has several sections with accompanying paragraph numbers. Make sure that the statements and paragraphs the affiant writes are comprehensible, concise, and clear. It is best to write them as short as possible, avoiding prolonging sentences and inserting unnecessary commentary. Take some time to construct the document by organizing your thoughts as an affiant to ensure that all necessary information transpires in the affidavit. Start with a detailed outline of the information you wish to include, and ensure that there is no significant detail left behind. Make sure that the statements are descriptive and informative as possible.

  • 2. Title the Affidavit

    When creating the title of the affidavit, remember to keep it simplistic. Summarize the information that you have about the affidavit you are writing in more or less ten words, including the name of the affiant. For example, if the affidavit covers financial matters, write the title as the Financial Affidavit, then add your name to complete the title. Make it as concise and as simple as possible.

  • 3. Develop the Statement of Identity for the Affiant

    The statement of identity is a sentence that identifies the essential information of the affiant. The next step in the writing process is to develop a statement of identity that includes details like the name of the affiant, age, job description, and current place of residence.

  • 4. Affirm the Honesty of the Affiant Regarding the Sworn Statements

    The next step after developing the statement of identity is to certify that all the statements the affiant writes in the affidavit are true and accurate, according to their knowledge. The affiant must affirm the facts as the affidavit is a legal document. There must be a sentence in the affidavit that affirms this. In most cases, the sentence looks like this. “I, name of the affiant, swear that the information in this affidavit is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge.”

  • 5. Recount the Facts Related to the Case

    Indicate the facts that you wish to communicate to the judge, jury, and all the people present in the court hearing. Make sure that the section contains all the necessary information possible, taking up as much space as you can utilize. There is no length limit or requirement when writing facts and sentences about the case. Utilize short sentences to keep sections at a minimum. Make sure to indicate proper nouns as such, and use as few words as possible to get points across.

  • 6. Review, Revise, Sign, and Notarize the Document

    All affidavits must be free from grammatical and spelling errors. There must also be no presence of slang or offensive or negative language in the statements. Make sure to proofread the document, ensuring that the statements are clear and effective. Revise the document as necessary to suit the standards of legal documentation. After correcting the affidavit, the next step is to legalize the document. You do this by signing the document in the presence of an attorney or a notary public, serving as a witness that attests that you wrote the statements of your free will without any outside force to influence your actions.


What is the principal purpose of an affidavit?

The purpose of an affidavit is to verify the legitimacy of a claim or to accompany witness statements regarding related pieces of evidence in a dispute or any court hearings.

Are affidavits considered as evidence?

Affidavits are admissible evidence. However, there are instances when the court calls on the affiant to participate in a court trial as a witness.

Who can provide affidavits?

Affiants or deponents refer to the individuals that file an affidavit as accompanying documents to a court trial. Any person can draft an affidavit.

Writing legal affidavits require individuals to develop clear, concise, and informative statements that aid the judge and jury to make decisions. A person writing an affidavit, whether it is the first time composing one or not, requires a legal advisor to accompany them when writing statements. For an affidavit to become legal, the individual writing the affidavit, together with court staff or notary public to testify and witness the signing, must be present. Compose a legal affidavit with ease by reading through the article above and downloading from the selection of 12+ SAMPLE Legal Affidavit in PDF | MS Word from Sample.net.