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9 April 2024

What is an affidavit and how are they used?

Learn about affidavits, how they are used, and when you will need one in our helpful guide.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

What is an affidavit and how are they used

If you are about to be part of court proceedings, you may be wondering ‘what is an affidavit?’ 

An affidavit is a statement of facts that an individual makes and swears to be true. If you are attending court for some reason, then you will likely be required to make one. They can also be known as a sworn statement or statement under oath. 

The word ‘affidavit’ is Latin for ‘he has declared’. Someone who offers an affidavit is known as an ‘affiant’. 

Affidavits are similar to statutory declarations; however, statutory declarations have a more general use, whilst affidavits are solely used for court proceedings. 

What situations require an affidavit?

There are many situations where you will have to offer an affidavit. 

Some of the most common situations are:

  • Property disputes
  • Inheritance disputes
  • Divorce proceedings
  • Debt cases

Who can make an affidavit?

Affidavits can be made by people who have shown they have the mental capacity to understand the seriousness of the oath they are making.

However, affidavits can also be made on behalf of other people. For example, if you are the guardian of someone who does not have the mental capacity to make their own oath. 

How do I make an affidavit?

The court that the proceedings are taking place at will likely provide some guidance on your affidavit. Also, you can find an affidavit template on the Government’s website. However, you do not have to use this template. 

Generally, you will simply need to provide an account of the details to the best of your knowledge. You cannot be punished for not including information that you could not have been aware of. Opinions can also be included in your affidavit, but you must make it clear that it is just your opinion. 

Do not include any false information in your statement. If you do, you could be found to be in contempt of court or to have committed perjury. Either of these can lead to a criminal conviction. 

If you need assistance with drafting your affidavit, then we can help. 

The steps to make an affidavit:

  1. Topic title and your name. Also include your job title, age, occupation, place of residence, and any other relevant information.
  2. Write a statement of truth. This is where you state that the information you are providing is true to the best of your knowledge. 
  3. Provide your account of the events outlined in the court proceedings.
  4. State again that what you have written is true and factual to the best of your knowledge. 
  5. Sign your affidavit in front of a witness, such as a solicitor, a Notary Public, or another qualified person. 
  6. Get your affidavit notarised for it to be valid. 

How we can help

As part of making an affidavit, you will likely need to get it notarised before it is considered valid in a court. Our Notary Public of England and Wales, Nathan Woodcock, can help you with this. 

You can meet Nathan at one of our offices in London, Manchester, or Sheffield. Alternatively, you can use our convenient mobile notary service to meet him at a reasonable time and place that suits you. 

Our drafting team can also assist you with the drafting of your affidavit.

Get in touch with us today to arrange your notary appointment. 


If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services,
contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0330 133 6480 or email

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services, contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0330 133 6480 or email