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Affidavits of Heirship under Texas Law

Posted by Chris Peterson | Aug 14, 2012 | 0 Comments

Not everyone creates a will before passing away. Further, not all wills are presented to the courts for probate. In cases where no will was created or no will was presented for probate, an affidavit of heirship will need to be filed.

An affidavit of heirship is a Texas legal document that allows inherited real estate to be transferred to the lawful heirs of an estate in certain circumstances. An affidavit of hardship is generally employed where the decedent died with no debts other than those secured by real property. As such, it is considered by many Bryan probate lawyers to be a less expensive and quicker alternative to a judicial determination of heirship proceeding.

Requirements of a Texas Affidavit of Heirship

By the provisions of the Texas Probate Code, the affidavit of heirship must be signed by two disinterested witnesses. This means the witnesses must not have any financial interest in the estate. In the affidavit, the witnesses must state that:

  • That they knew the decedent.
  • That he or she died on a certain date.
  • Who the family members and heirs are.
  • That the decedent had no debts at the time of death.
  • That the witnesses will not benefit from the estate.

All these statements must be sworn to by the witnesses before a notary public.  The affidavit is then recorded in the deed records of the county in which the decedent's property is located.  The heirs will then be able to sell the property.

When is an Affidavit of Heirship Useful?

An affidavit of heirship is useful when (1) no will exists; and (2) the decedent's estate consists only of real property and/or vehicles.

An affidavit of heirship is not appropriate in all circumstances. Generally, if the estate has multiple debts, the normal probate process is the better course as that ensures that creditors are appropriately handled. A Texas probate attorney can help you determine whether an affidavit of heirship is appropriate for you.

Contact Texas probate attorneys

For legal assistance with your probate matters, including an affidavit of heirship, contact the experienced Texas probate attorneys at the Peterson Law Group at 979-703-7014 . We will provide you with the personalized attention that you deserve and use our skills and resources to determine the best course for you and your loved one's estate.

About the Author

Chris Peterson

Founding Attorney 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. In addition to the law practice, Chris is involved in Aggieland Title Company and Brazos 1...

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