When somebody dies in a family, specifically those who leave behind a property, there’s a need to make an affidavit of domicile. Generally, it’s created then sworn by an assigned executor of the dead person’s estate. This is a required document of financial brokers for transferring the ownership of securities if any, from the departed to the named beneficiaries.

Affidavit of Domicile

The most common terms used in an affidavit of domicile

Being a legal document, you should sign the affidavit of domicile in the presence of a notary public. The main party signing the document is the executor who will also have to swear to the best of his knowledge that all the information in the document therein, are true and accurate.

For instances, wherein the deceased has other properties, the domicile that’s considered is the one where he voted and where he paid taxes. Here is a list of the common terms you’ll encounter an affidavit of domicile form:

  • Deceased refers to the one who just passed away.
  • Estate refers to the deceased’s real estate and personal properties.
  • Executor of the Estate refers to the person assigned in the person’s will as the manager in charge of settling the deceased’s debts along with the redistribution of any remaining net assets or properties to his beneficiaries.
  • Beneficiaries refer to the persons named in the will as a recipient of assets.
  • Probate Court refers to the state court who has the jurisdiction in supervising the will’s execution.
  • Domicile refers to the place where the deceased resided, paid his taxes and voted. Usually, it’s the deceased’s primary residence or home.
  • Estate Account refers to an account that the executor opens after the person dies for the main purpose of settling estate debts, deposit refunds from the sale of assets, and from other relevant transactions.
  • Stocks and Securities refer to documents which represent the ownership percentage of a business company that’s been publicly traded.
  • Financial Broker refers to the person who will take charge of the sale and purchase of securities.

The terms affidavit of residency and affidavit of domicile are often used interchangeably by many resources and websites. In most of the states, these are two very different things. To avoid any misunderstandings, this treatise will only refer to the affidavit of domicile.

Affidavit Of Domicile Forms

What does domicile mean?

You may come across varied definitions of domicile. Meanings may differ, but basically, each definition will refer to the same thought. In general, a domicile refers to the country or the place where a person has a fixed, legal address or a permanent residence and to which the said person will return if he’s currently residing in some other place.

The word’s definition varies depending on where it’s used. For instance, domicile can also refer to a state of incorporation or the registration of a firm where it has its legal address or registered office. In banking, it refers to the place where a bill of exchange becomes payable.

Notarized Affidavit Of Domicile

When do you need an affidavit of domicile?

Laws governing wills and estates will require a notarized affidavit of domicile that will certify the previous residence of somebody who has passed away. Being a legal document, it will need notarization and must bear the signature of a designated person. This is usually the executor of the estate who will confirm the deceased person’s residence.

The document is a legal instrument that will certify the deceased’s last residence and is also a requirement when the executor needs to transfer the assets that the deceased has left behind. This mostly applies to assets in the form of stocks and securities.

Stockbrokers who process these stocks may require an affidavit of domicile form as a verification of the deceased’s last residence. Upon presentation of the affidavit, the assets can now be readily transferred to the beneficiaries, as stated by the will or upon the court’s orders.

What to include in an affidavit of domicile?

An affidavit of domicile will usually contain information about the deceased, most important of which is where the person resided and for how long. State laws can differ from how the deceased’s properties will get distributed. The document’s information will determine the applicable laws. Basic information contained in the document include the following:

  • the deceased’s name
  • the address of the deceased
  • how long the deceased lived at the domicile
  • the date of death
  • the Probate Court with jurisdiction over the case
  • instructions for transferring or cashing the securities

Creating an affidavit of domicile form can become more complicated when the deceased is either:

  • mentally incompetent
  • a minor
  • resides in a nursing or retirement home
  • otherwise deficient of legal capacities.

As such, you will need the services and advice of experts.

Free Affidavit of Domicile

How to create an affidavit of domicile?

A notarized affidavit of domicile will help establish and certify the deceased’s last residence. Such a document becomes important in a probate court. This is the governing body that supervises the distribution of the deceased party’s properties to the heirs.

The document contains relevant information pertaining to the deceased, most important of which is his domicile. For somebody who has resided in just one residence for a very long time, there should be no question about the domicile.

For those who have traveled frequently and have resided in more than one residence before death, for a minor or somebody with a mental disability, making an affidavit of domicile may require the services of an expert. If you plan to create this document yourself, here are some steps to guide you:

  • Determine the deceased domicile
    The first step you need to take is to determine which is the domicile of the deceased. This task is more difficult if the deceased lived in different places.
  • Get the affiant’s signature
    This refers to the one who affixes his signature on the document and swears under oath that the deceased was a resident of the domicile as mentioned in the affidavit at the time when he died. The relationship of the affiant with the deceased can either be of the following:
    Executor is the one who takes charge of distributing the deceased’s property as mentioned in the last will and testament.
    Administrator is a person appointed by the court.
    Personal Representative is a person that the deceased nominated as his personal representative in handling her financial matters in a different document.
  • Check if the deceased has any stocks and bonds
    This step isn’t a requirement. Its purpose is to assist the probate court in determining what laws will apply when it’s time to give away the assets.
  • Executing the affidavit
    After you have filled up the affidavit of domicile form, the affiant places his signature on and date of the document as witnessed by a notary public who will also sign as an acknowledgment. Although some jurisdictions don’t require notarizations, it’s highly recommended to have the affidavit so. This will give validity to the document in case of any disputes that may arise.

What happens if you don’t have an affidavit of domicile?

With this document, the designated executor can settle the estate including bonds, stocks, and other securities. Without the document, the ownership of these securities cannot get transferred to the named beneficiaries. Neither can you encash them so that the proceeds will get deposited into the estate’s account. The latter is an asset that’s considered debt because there are taxes which need settling upon sale or transfer.

Because of this, the estate should stay “open” until the transfers have occurred and all of the taxes due are already paid. This will delay the distribution of the assets. Furthermore, such beneficiaries can sue the executor for his failure or incompetence to do his duty of distributing the assets as stated in the terms of the deceased’s will.

Don’t give your executor a hard time when the time comes to perform his duties. You can attach an addendum to the list of securities and include information on your account numbers, brokerage firms or financial brokers. Just update this addendum when needed so you can maintain an accurate and complete list of all the accounts.

What happens when you experience a legal dispute over a person’s will?

Sometimes, beneficiaries would contest the will of their departed relatives. But how can an affidavit of domicile help in such cases? There can be disputes on which of the beneficiaries get entitled to the properties or assets. State laws in some cases can determine the outcome of such distributions, where the parties and the court can settle the dispute by clear information about the last domicile of the deceased.

The resolution of will disputes is generally hard to settle. There may be a need for the services of qualified estate lawyers when confronted with such legal issues or if there’s a need for an affidavit of domicile.

These experts can tell you how to properly fill out then certify the affidavit. They may also represent you at court proceedings. Although will disputes can at times be very complex, having a lawyer can help make sure that the laws are always followed.

TemplateLab May 5th, 2019