When a person dies, all property owned by the deceased passes by law to the heirs of the deceased. A will may change this inheritance if the will is properly written and admitted to probate by a judge.
An Affidavit of Heirship in Texas is a sworn document filed with the county which identifies the names of the heirs of a deceased person who owned property.
Note: If there is no will, this affidavit may be filed in the county records to show the names of the heirs of the deceased owner.
Affidavit of Heirship for a House
The Affidavit of Heirship is used to identify the names of your heirs so your heirs may transfer your property after you pass. Even with a will, this document will name your heirs.
Subsequently, the Affidavit of Heirship completes the chain of title from the deceased to the heirs who are the new owners of the property.
When this affidavit is properly prepared and filed, the heirs may then transfer title to the property.
Even if the deceased had a will, an heirship affidavit may be used if the will leaves the property solely to the direct descendants of the deceased.
If the will leaves property to someone who is not a direct descendant or to a church or other entity, this affidavit may not be able to be used. In such cases, the executor of the will may be required to file the will for probate.
Since a will can only be probated within 4 years from the date of death of the property owner in most cases, an Affidavit of Heirship may be your only option.
When do you need an Affidavit of Heirship Document
You need a heirship affidavit if property is in the name of a person who is deceased.
It is used so the heirs of the deceased owner may transfer the property. Or, if the heirs simply want to transfer the title to the property in the names of the heirs.
In some cases, several affidavits may be necessary if several of the owners named in the property records are deceased.
What is the purpose of the heirship affidavit?
The purpose of an heirship affidavit is to provide the property records the names and addresses of the heirs who are the current owners of property. Once filed, the heirs may transfer the property. It also allows the heirs to pay the taxes on the property and to insure the property.
You may use this affidavit to transfer title to a car or other motor vehicle owned by the deceased.
Where should an affidavit of heirship be filed?
It must be filed with the county clerk in the county where the real property is located. It will need to be filed in several counties if the deceased owned property in more than one county.
When should it be filed?
The affidavit should be filed as soon as possible after the owner dies. If you wait too long, it may be difficult to obtain information needed to complete the document and to find witnesses to sign it.
Note: The Affidavit of Heirship must be filed before the heirs transfer property owned by the deceased.
Our fee is $300 per affidavit. The county recording fee is approximately $48 per county. Additionally, our firm provides you with clear instructions on where and how to file the completed document.
Do you have questions about Affidavits of Heirship? Speak directly with attorney Scott Steinbach at 972-960-1850 for a free consultation. Alternatively, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
R. Scott Steinbach is AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubble. Peer rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence.