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Why use a Texas affidavit of heirship after a wrongful death?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2013 | Wrongful Death |

When do you need an affidavit of heirship? In a real estate transaction? After a wrongful death incident? Maybe both. If a person dies without a will and the deed that would transfer title does not include joint tenancy with survivorship language, then questions may arise about who has title.  The real property remaining after the death of an individual is often referred to as “heirship property.” We understand that after loosing someone in a car accident or through a wrongful death case, dealing with family affairs may be difficult. Therefore, we provide some information that may help.

If a will is not probated after a death, a title company or its underwriters may have problems closing the sale transaction or title transfer. Thus, the title company may require an affidavit of heirship if you desire to transfer real estate title. If you have more questions about this type of scenario, consult a probate lawyer and/or a real estate lawyer.

The affidavit of heirship often requires that the document be signed by an immediate member of the family and be corroborated by at least two disinterested parties. The document should also contain the marital history of the deceased person and the spouse along with a complete list of heirs.

What is the purpose of the affidavit in an intestacy case? When there is no will, the affidavit is used to describe family history. It should name all known and likely heirs. These steps should be pursuant to the Texas Probate Code. A person familiar with these facts should sign the affidavit under oath. The document should also be attested to by at least two disinterested witnesses.

What do you do next once the document is complete? File the document in the real property records of the county where the property is located.

Let’s say that a family has lost a loved one due to a tragic car accident or by natural causes, if that person dies intestate, the rules of intestate succession govern.

What should also be executed in addition to the affidavit of heirship? Prepare a deed.


The above is a summary of some steps, but there are other options. If you have questions about transferring title, preparing an affidavit of heirship or handling family affairs after a wrongful death case, contact a Houston lawyer with experience. You can reach a Texas Attorney at 713-572-4900 or 713-572-4900.

  – Article By Richard Weaver


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