What is an Affidavit of Heirship?


An affidavit of heirship (in some states referred to as a declaration of heirship) is a legal document used to determine the right to inheritance of a deceased individual’s assets. 

Depending on the state in which the individual passes away, a state-specific affidavit must be filed. For example, California and Texas require a declaration of heirship, while New York and Washington require an affidavit of heirship.

Generally, legal heirs are chosen by the deceased, and include family and friends. However, sometimes the deceased does not leave a Last Will and Testament. In these cases, known as “intestate,” the attorney is required to prove heirship with an affidavit or declaration of heirship.

The affidavit or declaration of heirship is most commonly prepared by an attorney, or an heir search firm on the attorney’s behalf, to ensure compliance with state-specific probate codes. 

Requirements for these documents differ: for an affidavit of heirship to be legally binding, it must be notarized, while notarization is not required for a declaration of heirship.

HeirSearch can provide both affidavits and declarations of heirship, and can perform and document searches that meet the requirements of a due diligence search. These searches can be presented in affidavit format, ready for court presentation.

To learn more about how HeirSearch can assist you with an Affidavit or Declaration of Heirship, get in touch with us now.