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1) To accept, recognize, confirm, or admit the existence or truth of something. 

2) To validate an identity or claim. 

3) To authenticate an instrument or writing by declaration or statement under oath by the person who executes the instrument or writing, in the presence of a notary, officer, or other impartial party.   

4) To recognize an individual as one’s heir.

5) To recognize receipt of a document or payment.

6) To accept responsibility for. 

Examples of people and items that may be acknowledged under the law include:

  • An “acknowledged child” is a child that is recognized by a parent as their own. 
  • An “acknowledged heir” is an heir recognized by a decedent by act or designation while the decedent was alive.
  • An “acknowledged deed” is a deed recognized as authentic and true by a formal statement that is witnessed.
  • An “acknowledged payment” is a payment made by an authorized person that has been successfully received. 
  • An “acknowledged debt” is a debt that has been recognized by the debtor as owed to the lender. 

[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team