If at the time of death, the person (Testator) has a Will, then the Will must be probated by the executor in order for the Will to be put into effect. The Will, will then distribute the property estate to the Beneficiaries by the wishes of the deceased Testator. If there is no will at the time of death, the Affidavit of Heirship can be used to transfer property estate to the rightful owner of a family members estate according to the rules on legal or intestate succession.
According to the Estates Code Section 203.001 Recorded Statement of Facts as Prima Facie Evidence of Heirship. (a) A court shall receive in a proceeding to declare heirship or a suit involving title to property a statement of facts concerning the family history, genealogy, marital status, or the identity of the heirs of a decedent as prima facie evidence of the facts contained in the statement if: (1) the statement is contained in: (a) an affidavit or other instrument legally executed and acknowledged or sworn to before, and certified by, an officer authorized to take acknowledgments or oaths, as applicable; or (b) a judgment of a court of record; and (2) the affidavit or instrument containing the statement has been of record for five years or more in the deed records of a county in this state in which the property is located at the time the suit involving title to property is commenced, or in the deed records of a county in this state in which the decedent was domiciled or had a fixed place of residence at the time of the decedent’s death. Once these issues are resolved, it may make better sense to convey real estate through a deed. If there is a dispute about inheritance ownership, you may need a Trespass to Try Title Suit to resolve ownership issues.
Contact us to further understand how property will be distributed according to interstate succession in Texas. Here is a list of how property can be distributed:
Married with children – 100% of property goes to the spouse.
Married with no children – 100% of property goes to the spouse.
Single or widowed – Divided equally among children.
If there is not a will, descendants, or named beneficiaries, the property will forfeit to the state, this process is called Escheat. According to the Texas Intestate Succession Rules there are unique situations that may or may not apply. Are there half relatives? Did the person and his/her heir die simultaneously? Was the property given to a relative during their lifetime? Is there a relative that is not a citizen or legally in the United States?
If you believe that you are the heir of a property, we invite you to give us a call. An experienced probate or real estate attorney can answer your questions on how to properly transfer title into your name. Our number is 713 513 5566.