When one of your close relatives or friends dies, you may need to prove where they lived as part of the probate process following a death. If you are named an executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate, you can use an Affidavit of Domicile to prove where they lived and legally transfer stocks and bonds held in brokerage accounts.
This affidavit is a crucial component of estate administrator responsibilities. Without it, you can’t perform your role as an estate executor since the deceased’s last place of residence plays a role in how and when stock and bond accounts are transferred or cashed out.
It’s usually as simple as establishing where the decedent last lived. However, it can be more complicated when the decedent moved or traveled frequently, held multiple places of residence, or was not of sound mind.
An Affidavit of Domicile is a concise legal document affirming a deceased person’s primary place of residence at the time of death. Often used to transfer stocks and bonds between parties, the document’s primary role arises when someone who owns stocks or bonds passes away.
In contrast to an affidavit of residence, stating the home of a living person, the Affidavit of Domicile is reserved only for those passed on.
Depending on your state, an Affidavit of Domicile may also be known as:
Affidavit of Residence (mistakenly)
Statement of Domicile
Decedent Domicile Form
Typically, the executor or administrator of an estate drafts an Affidavit of Domicile as part of the process to cash out or transfer the stocks and bonds held in the decedent’s brokerage accounts. The document is mostly used in probate court to distribute property in alignment with taxation and regulatory requirements for stocks and bonds in the decedent’s official place of residence.
Additionally, financial institutions may draft this affidavit as a part of probate to assist an estate’s executor in transferring ownership of the decedent’s securities. Ultimately, the state requires an Affidavit of Domicile to determine the tax burden of the decedent’s assets and the state’s taxes due.
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To create an Affidavit of Domicile, you need to provide accurate information about the decedent and the party who will take ownership of the assets in question. With our proprietary form generator, a few necessary details about the decedent, their place of residence, and the affiant are enough to generate a document that fits your jurisdiction regulations.
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To create your document, please provide:
Governing State: The state whose laws govern this Affidavit of Domicile.
Execution Details: The date when the affidavit is to be executed, and the state and county.
Affiant Information: The legal name and address of the person who is completing the affidavit.
Decedent Information: The legal name and identifying information about the person who died, the location of their residence at the time of death, and how long the decedent lived at that location before death.
Affiant’s Relation to Decedent: Describe the role of the affiant in the administration of the decedent’s estate (e.g., personal representative, executor, or administrator).
Securities: Choose whether this affidavit is drafted to secure transfer or delivery of securities, and if so, where those securities were held at the time of the decedent’s death.
Administration: In the context of estate planning, the act of administration is how to distribute assets in a probate court.
Probate: The legal process after someone dies involving distributing assets, paying debts, and honoring the will of the person who died.
Fiduciary: A person who is instructed and legally expected to act in the benefit of another person in financial and estate matters under specific circumstances.
Domicile: The place where a person legally resides.
Affidavit: A legal document usually confirmed by sworn oath and used in a court as evidence.
To be legally enforceable, an Affidavit of Domicile must be signed by the affiant who is also the executor or administrator of the estate. It needs to be signed in the presence of two unbiased witnesses whose signatures should also be on the document. Otherwise, the affiant’s signature must be notarized by a notary public.
Once you’ve reviewed and executed the Affidavit of Domicile, keep a copy for your personal records and distribute a copy to the brokerage firm(s) involved with the securities in question.
An Affidavit of Domicile must contain the correct information to the best of your knowledge. As sworn testimony, you could be charged with a criminal offense if you provide information in the affidavit you know to be wrong.
If you have any documents, including statements or photographs, that serve as evidence to confirm the information in your affidavit, you can attach those to the affidavit. Since the document is a sworn oath, you’re expected to be certain that the information within is correct to the best of your knowledge.
Intentionally lying in an affidavit is a criminal offense. The charges will depend on your jurisdiction but it’s typically a case of perjury. As a criminal matter, perjury could lead to anything from minor fines to jail time.
Both documents serve a similar purpose, which is to state facts in writing that are true to the best of the affiant’s knowledge. However, an affidavit is typically used in the context of court matters. A statutory declaration is mostly used outside of the courts to satisfy legal or regulatory requirements pursuant to specific laws.
The Affidavit of Domicile isn’t required for the performance of all the duties of an estate executor. It’s only necessary to settle the securities ties to the decedent’s estate. However, if there are any securities involved, ownership cannot be transferred without an executed Affidavit of Domicile to the named beneficiaries of the estate. As a result, the beneficiaries could sue the executor for failing to perform his or her duties as required in the decedent’s will.
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