After your parent has died, you and your siblings have many things to take care of. You must see to the funeral arrangements, comfort loved ones who come from out of town and support one another in your grief. When these urgent matters pass, you will begin to focus on settling your parent's estate.
The last thing you want to deal with at this difficult time is a long and frustrating probate, especially if your parent had a simple estate with no debts. You and your siblings may agree that the best thing to do is to sell the house and its contents, divide the proceeds, and return to your normal lives. Since probate can take the better part of a year, you may wish to learn more about your options, including the affidavit of heirship.
Preparing the affidavit
An affidavit of heirship simplifies the process of settling a loved one's estate because it allows you to skip the probate process, most of which involves verifying the identity of the deceased's heirs and paying off any creditors. You and your siblings can attest to the fact that you are the legal heirs of the deceased by completing an affidavit of heirship and filing it with the appropriate Texas court. An attorney can assist you with the complex affidavit, which includes information such as:
- The names and addresses of you and your siblings or other heirs
- How long you have known the deceased
- Vital information about the deceased, such as name, address and the date of death
- Information about the deceased's family, such as dates of marriages, births of children, and any divorces or deaths of spouses or children
- Whether the deceased had a will
- The status of the deceased's debts and taxes
- Details about the property and assets in the deceased's estate
While an affidavit of heirship is most appropriate if your loved one did not have a will and you and the other heirs are in complete agreement about how to distribute the contents of the estate, this document may work in other situations too. For example, if your loved one left a will, has no debts, and none of the heirs are in dispute with each other, you may opt to use the affidavit of heirship instead of the probate process.
No matter the circumstances of your loved one's estate, seeking the right advice can help you settle matters in the most expeditious and stress-free manner possible. There are several options available for simple estates, and a Texas attorney can help you understand which is most appropriate for your situation.