What is an Affidavit of Heirship
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.
For example; if you own property when you die, this document is used to identify the names of your heirs so that your heirs can transfer your property. Even if you had a will, it will name your heirs.
If there is no will, this affidavit can be filed in the county records to show the names of the heirs of the deceased owner.
This document completes the chain of title from the deceased to the heirs who are the new owners of the property.
When properly prepared and filed, the heirs may transfer title to the property with this document.
Even if the deceased had a will, you may use an heirship affidavit if the will leaves the property only 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, you may not be able to use an affidavit. 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 heirship affidavit 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
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. It allows the heirs to transfer the property. It allows the heirs to pay the taxes on the property and to insure the property.
It may also be used to transfer title to a car or other motor vehicle owned by the deceased.
Where must 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 must it be filed
It 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.
It must be filed before the heirs transfer property owned by the deceased.
How to file it
The Steinbach Law Firm can prepare an Affidavit of Heirship.
Our fee is $300 each. The county recording fee is approximately $48 per county.
We will provide you with instructions and where and how to file the completed document.