Upon a loved one’s death, it becomes necessary to settle the property, financial and personal affairs of the decedent. Generally, this happens through a potentially lengthy and costly process known as probate. A personal representative must pay the decedent’s debts and distribute the property. In certain situations, a Texas affidavit of heirship represents one approach to avoiding probate. It also carries the advantage of facilitating an expeditious and convenient transfer of property inherited by potentially numerous survivors.
Did a family-member dying without leaving a will create a problem with the legal ownership of their house? Do you need help gaining title to the property so you can sell it? The professionals at Texas Cash Investor purchase real estate from heirs every day. We have the knowledge and resources to help you gain legal ownership and we will purchase the property in a fast cash transaction.
What is an Affidavit of Heirship?
If a deceased person leaves a valid will, then its provisions decide which people inherit and become owners of a decedent’s property upon the decedent’s death. Where a person dies without a valid will, the Texas intestacy law determines who inherits the property. This depends upon whether the spouse, children or other family members survived the decedent.
A Texas affidavit of heirship lists those people who may inherit from a deceased person. Although the affidavit does not transfer title, it can be part of the records used by title searchers to identify and determine the owners and their interest in the decedent’s property. Under the Texas affidavit of heirship statute, found in Texas Estate Code Sec. 203.001, a court may treat the affidavit as evidence on its face of the identity of the heirs once it has appeared on the land records for five years. In short, an Affidavit of Heirship serves as the necessary evidence to show that the decedent’s property should legally pass to the specified heir(s).
The Requirements for Completing an Affidavit of Heirship Texas
The Texas affidavit of heirship statute lists the information that the affidavit must contain and provides a form for an acceptable affidavit. The legal requirements also address who is eligible to sign, it must be someone who is intimately familiar with the marital, family and debt history of the decedent – usually a family member. Most title companies will also require that two witnesses with no interest in the estate also sign an affidavit of heirship. If those witnesses are also family members, it is best practice to disclose that fact in the affidavit.
Identity of Heirs
If you’re completing an affidavit, you will need to have knowledge and details about the decedent’s family. The affidavit must list:
*Spouse (if any), along with the place and date of the spouse’s death, if any
*Children (if any), with the birth date, name of the other parent, child’s address and, if the child predeceased the decedent, the date of death and the descendants of the deceased child
*Parents, if the decedent was not married and did not have children, along with the birth date and date and place of death, if any
Who Can Witness an Affidavit of Heirship Texas?
Those who witness heirship affidavits cannot have an interest in the estate. In the group of disqualified witnesses lie heirs, potential heirs and those who otherwise would financially benefit from the decedent’s estate. This includes the surviving spouse and children.
Beyond the requirement of being disinterested, a signer of the affidavit of heirship must have known the decedent to have the ability to certify:
*Knowing the decedent
*That the decedent did not have debts at the time of death
*When the decedent died
*Where the decedent resided at the time of death
*The identity of the decedent’s real property
*Information about the surviving spouse, children, parents and other relatives of the decedent
Normally, a friend, attorney, clergy or close co-worker of the decedent or family possess the necessary knowledge to sign an affidavit of heirship Texas.
Although heirs cannot witness an affidavit of heirship, many title companies will require that all heirs entitled to the property also execute the affidavit.
Are you the heir to someone who owned real estate and died without leaving a will? Texas Cash Investor has helped many families deal with this problem and gain legal ownership of the property through an affidavit of heirship in Texas, allowing them to be able to sell the real estate. We buy multiple properties every week from people in similar situations.
When You May Not Need a TX Affidavit of Heirship?
Affidavits of heirship do not transfer title or possession of property. The benefits of these documents lie in the ability to establish and inform about those who inherit from a decedent who left no will.
Affidavits of heirship help facilitate the transfer of vehicles, mobile homes, boats and real property. However, the affidavit is not necessary unless the property passes upon death under the intestacy law. To that end, below are some ways that a person might provide for the transfer of real property at death without the need for an affidavit of heirship for a house or reliance on inheritance and probate laws.
Dealing With Community Property
In certain states, spouses who acquire property together hold as tenants by the entirety. This recognizes that the married couple owns the property as a single unit. As such, one cannot convey or encumber the property without the joinder of the other. Also, upon death, the surviving spouse becomes the sole owner.
Texas does not recognize the tenancy by the entirety. Instead, spouses own real property acquired during the marriage in equal shares. By default, community real (and other) property is split at the death of one spouse between the surviving spouse and the heirs of the decedent. Such a situation would call for an affidavit of heirship in Texas to sell the property. To keep real property out of probate and inheritance by heirs, the spouses can execute an agreement that the surviving spouse will own the entire property.
Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship
The joint tenancy with right of survivorship represents one tool property owners use to avoid probate or inheritance. In the deed to the joint owners, the language expressly provides that the surviving joint owner becomes the sole owner upon the death of the other owner. When spouses own property in such a way, the surviving spouse assumes sole ownership of the real property by the terms of the deed. As such, the surviving spouse does not “inherit,” and the property does not become subject to a probate process or the necessity of being included in an heirship affidavit.
In a life estate, one or more grantees enjoy the right to possess and use the property during their lifetimes. The grantor vests a remainder interest in other grantees, meaning that they become owners upon the death of the life tenant. As such a deed designates who owns the property at death, there is no probate or need to execute an heirship affidavit.
Your loved ones might have established a living, or inter vivos, trust to hold real property. In the typical trust, the real property is held by an individual or entity for the benefit of another person known as the “beneficial owner” or “beneficiary.” In many cases, an individual appoints him or herself as the trustee and reserves the right to use the property or enjoy the income during the trustee’s life.
At the trustee’s death, the trust may terminate and the property placed in it gets sold. The proceeds of the sale go to those named in the trust as beneficiaries. With this approach, the trust itself rather than the intestacy laws or a will determines who gets the beneficial interest. Property placed into a trust is not distributed or otherwise handled through the estate process.
Why Use Texas Cash Investor?
Inheriting property brings expenses in the form of property taxes, insurance and upkeep. If you’re an heir, you or any co-heirs may not have the required funds or may not wish to invest time or resources in keeping the property or preparing it for sale. Texas Cash investor can help heirs realize the value from their inherited real estate without the heirs needing to invest any money in the property to prepare it for sale and without having to pass inspections or deal with brokers, agents, mortgage companies, a multitude of buyers and window-shoppers…and without having to pay a 6% fee to a broker for selling the property.
Inherited Real Estate? Work with a Cash Buyer who understands how to handle inherited property. Contact Texas Cash Investor today for a cash offer on your inherited property in any condition. We guarantee you a fair cash offer in 24 hours or less!
Texas Cash Investor buys property throughout the State of Texas. We buy houses, apartment complexes, condos, townhouses, raw land, mobile homes, trailer parks, rv parks, mini storage in small towns like Vidor, TX or Temple, TX to big cities like Houston, TX or San Antonio, TX. Whether you want to sell a beach house in Freeport, a mobile home in Waco, TX, or a rental portfolio in Amarillo, TX, we have you covered. Texas Cash Investor will buy any real estate located in Texas or the surrounding states.