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What is an affidavit of heirship form?

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An affidavit of heirship form is a legal document filled out and filed with a county clerk's office by an heir to a deceased person's estate. This occurs when the deceased does not have a will or instructions on how to distribute his or her estate upon death, states The Law Dictionary.

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When a spouse or family member dies without a will or instructions on how to distribute his or her estate, the probate process can be time-consuming, states Rocket Lawyer. However, if there is only one heir, or if all of the heirs agree on how to settle and distribute the estate, the probate process can be sped up with the filing of affidavits of heirship.

The affidavit of heirship is a listing of all the information known about the decedent, the name and address of the heir and the details of the heir's relationship with the deceased. The affidavit must be notarized by an uninterested third party, states The Law Dictionary. If there is more than one heir, then they should all complete an affidavit of heirship. Once the affidavit or affidavits are complete, the must be filed with the county clerk's office in the county where the deceased resided and in any county where property belonging to the decedent's estate is located. The filing of the affidavit or affidavits establishes the filers as heirs to the estate and speeds up the estate settlement process. Each state has its own rules governing the affidavit of heirship and settling of an estate, and this information can be obtained from a local county or surrogate's court clerk's office.

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