Among the many tools available to those sorting through a loved one’s estate, the affidavit of heirship can be particularly useful for individuals whose loved ones might not have left behind a will. In Texas, the affidavit of heirship can be an incredibly practical way to transfer property ownership from a decedent to his or her heirs, but the process involves several procedural hoops that are important to keep in mind. At McCulloch & Miller, we help clients deal with these sorts of filings with the ultimate hope of helping them achieve their familial and financial goals.
What is an Affidavit of Heirship?
The affidavit of heirship is a document that a decedent’s heirs can submit to the probate court. It is typically used in two different scenarios: 1) when the decedent did not leave behind a will and 2) when the decedent’s estate did not pass through probate in the first four years after his or her death.
The affidavit allows heirs to receive property that the decedent intended to leave for them. By submitting the affidavit, heirs can essentially ask the court to transfer title of their loved one’s property to their own name(s).
What Does the Affidavit of Heirship Entail?
A person that knew the decedent (besides the heirs standing to benefit from the process) must sign the affidavit in front of a notary public. This person could be an old family friend or anyone who knew the decedent and is familiar with his or her family history. If a non-family member is unavailable to sign, a family member that will not benefit from the transfer of property might also be eligible to sign the affidavit.
The heirs must then file the affidavit with the real property records in the county where the property sits. This filing often comes with a fee, and it must be done in the proper location in order to be properly validated.
If you think an affidavit of heirship might fit your needs, it is best to contact a Texas estate planning attorney that can make sure you are on the right track. The process can be straightforward when done correctly, but it is always better to have an attorney by your side to make sure things do not go awry.
Are You In Need of an Estate Planning Attorney in Texas?
At McCulloch & Miller, we help clients in Houston as they navigate the various complicated tasks necessary when dealing with estate planning and probate matters. Our team takes pride in our client-centered, thorough approach to every single case, and we are committed to making sure you are informed of all of your options before deciding what might be right for you and your loved ones. For a consultation with a member of our team, give us a call today at (713) 333-8900. You can also fill out our online form to tell us about your circumstances and have an attorney reach back out to you.