Affiant Details

Someone who chooses to sign or swear by a legal document called an affidavit by their own free will is referred to in a court of law as an "affiant." Because an affidavit is a sworn statement of fact and written under oath, an affiant can never be forced or coerced to sign one. To officially become an affiant, however, you must sign the affidavit in front of a notary. A notary is an official with the legal authority to verify you completed the signing process accurately and truthfully before they seal the document.

A notary or other official party cannot discriminate against an affiant based on their age, race, or gender. However, the affiant must appear old or mature enough to understand why they are signing the affidavit and why it's important. The affiant must also be aware of the consequences of lying. Incompetency or immaturity will prevent you from becoming an affiant. Being a criminal or having a criminal record will not.

Occasionally, an affiant will have someone else sign the affidavit on their behalf, depending on the situation. Such cases include a guardian for a minor or someone who is mentally impaired. Attorneys, personal representatives, and corporate officers may also sign the affidavit if the affiant's circumstance requires it. Further, suppose you are incapable of making decisions either by choice or due to your physical or mental wellbeing. In that case, you may appoint someone else to become a power of attorney affiant. This status grants them the privilege to act on your behalf for an explicit purpose.

Affiant Example

There are many cases where an affiant will appear or be referenced in a court of law. As legally binding written statements of fact, affidavits are a common source of evidence used by attorneys. In turn, affiants are often witnesses to a crime but may also be on documents notifying death, confirming an identity, verifying a residency, or changing a name.

The affiants of a financial affidavit, commonly used in divorce cases, are any party who declares which assets, debts, income, and expenses belong to them. Because divorces are family disputes, however, it is important to note that every individual has the right to sign an affidavit and become an affiant to have their say.

In a self-proving affidavit, commonly a will, the affiant would be the maker who wrote it before they died. If an affidavit promises money, for example, the affiants would be both the party providing the money and the party receiving it. However, if the original affidavit is lost, both affiants may agree to write and sign a new affidavit or one that compensates for the original. Affiants are also crucial in cases of identity theft. Someone may sign an affidavit declaring they were not the same person who signed another document, such as that for a bank, which has since severely affected their credit score.