An affidavit of domicile is a legal document signed before a notary public. The person signing the affidavit, known as the affiant, swears or affirms to the truth of the information contained in the document. An affidavit of domicile contains facts to establish the legal domicile of the affiant, or in the case of an estate, the legal domicile of the deceased.
An affidavit is the written equivalent of testifying in court. The affiant, whether he swears or affirms, is placed under oath to tell the truth and by his signature states that all the facts in the affidavit are true and correct. A domicile is a person's permanent home -- where he lives, registers to vote, obtains a driver's license and registers his automobiles. It is not the same as residency, although a person with one home has the same domicile and residence. A person can have two residences in separate states, but only one state is his domicile.
A mandatory use of the affidavit involves transfer of securities in an estate. When a person dies, the court appoints a personal representative. If the decedent owned stocks, the personal representative must transfer them to an estate account. Each separate security requires an affidavit of domicile before it can transferred. Another use involves the determination of domicile for tuition purposes with a state-supported university. In Florida, a student files a declaration of domicile with the clerk of court in the county where she is establishing a permanent domicile.
An affidavit of domicile for a personal representative begins with the name of the affiant and the words "being duly sworn." It then states the address of the affiant followed by the name and date of death of the decedent. The affidavit then states the facts necessary to prove domicile, such as how many years the decedent lived at his domicile address, the address shown on the last federal income tax return and the last time the decedent voted. The affiant then states that the deceased had no other domicile but the one stated in the affidavit and did not execute a will within three years before his death indicating a different domicile.
An affidavit of domicile is a serious document and should not be executed lightly. It has consequences, for example, in determining domicile for taxation purposes and for reduced educational expenses. The affiant is under oath and sworn to tell the truth, so she should make the necessary determination of facts before execution so there are no mistakes.
- Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute: Affidavit
- Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute: Domicile
- Minnesota Revenue: What Is Domicile?
- University of Florida Admissions: Establishing Florida Residency
- Fidelity Investments: Affidavit of Domicile
- Merrill Lynch: Affidavit of Domicile
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