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What Is an Affidavit of Heirship?

Posted by Chris Peterson | Nov 14, 2013

An Affidavit of Heirship is a document one or more heirs can file in a Texas probate court to claim a right to a deceased person's property. The affidavit is used when the deceased's estate primarily consists of real estate and he or she died without a last will and testament, or died with a will. The affidavit can be effective to transfer title from the decedent's name to the names of the heirs without going through the formal probate process.

Transferring ownership of real estate owned by a deceased loved one

The purpose of the affidavit is to create a clean chain of title from the decedent to the heirs listed in the affidavit. An Affidavit of Heirship should be prepared by an experienced probate attorney and witnesses by two disinterested witnesses.

What is a disinterested witness?

Disinterested witnesses are people who are not heirs and do not have any claim of right to estate property. Disinterested witnesses must swear under oath:

  1. How long he or she knew the decedent
  2. When and where the decedent died
  3. Where the decedent resided during life
  4. That they are familiar with the decedent's marital history
  5. That they were familiar with the decedent's family history, including the names and birthdates of the decedent's children, parents, and siblings
  6. That the decedent died without a will
  7. Whether the decedent had left debts or unpaid taxes
  8. A description of the decedent's ownership interest in the real estate
  9. The names of the decedent's known heirs
  10. That they will not benefit financially from the estate

Then the affidavit should be filed and recorded with deed records in the county where the real estate is located.

At Peterson Law Group, we help heirs whose loved one died with or without a will. Make an appointment to discuss your situation with an experienced Texas probate attorney at the Peterson Law Group.  To schedule a consultation, call us today at 979-703-7014.

About the Author

Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is the owner of Peterson Law Group. He practices primarily in the areas of wills, trusts and estate planning; probate and trust administration; elder law; and business law. Chris is also the owner of Brazos 1031 Exchange Company.

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