Affidavits Of Heirship
An affidavit of heirship is a legal document used in Texas probate to establish the heirs of a deceased person when they did not leave a valid will. It is a sworn statement made by a disinterested witness who has extensive knowledge of the decedent’s family history. The affidavit of heirship is intended to provide a simple and less expensive alternative to probate court proceedings when transferring property owned by a decedent.
In Texas, when someone dies without a will or with an invalid will, their property passes according to the state’s laws of intestacy. These laws specify who will inherit the property and in what proportion. The laws of intestacy can be complex and may require a court proceeding to determine the rightful heirs. This can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if there are disputes among family members.
An affidavit of heirship can be used to avoid a court proceeding in some cases. If the deceased person owned real property in Texas, the affidavit can be recorded in the deed records of each county where the property is located to effectuate the transfer title to the heirs named in the affidavit.
To create an affidavit of heirship, a person who is familiar with the deceased person’s family history and relationship to the deceased must make a sworn statement under oath before a notary public. The affidavit should include the following information:
- The full legal name of the deceased person
- The date of the deceased person’s death
- A description of the property to be transferred, including any identifying information such as a property address or account number
- A statement that the affiant is over 18 years of age and has personal knowledge of the deceased person’s family history and relationship to the deceased
- A list of the deceased person’s heirs, along with their full legal names, dates of birth, and relationship to the deceased
- A statement that the affiant has no knowledge of a valid will or that the will is invalid
- The signature of the affiant, attesting to the truthfulness of the statements made in the affidavit, and the signature of a notary public
It is important to note that an affidavit of heirship may not be appropriate in all cases. If the deceased person had outstanding debts or if there are disputes among family members regarding the rightful heirs, a court proceeding may be necessary to determine the proper distribution of assets. Additionally, some financial institutions or other entities may require a court order before transferring property, even if an affidavit of heirship has been filed.
A probate attorney can help you determine whether an affidavit of heirship is appropriate in your case and with the drafting, execution, and recording of the affidavit of heirship in the county deed records.
To schedule a meeting with one of our probate attorneys at Aldrich Law Firm, PLLC, to discuss your case, please call us at (210) 418-1150 or send us a message by completing the intake form on our website.