Texas law provides that lawful heirs of the decedent shall take title to the decedent’s property immediately upon the decedent’s death. If probate is never opened, how do third parties know that the heir is the rightful owner of the decedent’s property? The affidavit of heirship can provide the answer.
An affidavit of heirship provides a statement of facts of the family history, genealogy, marital status, or identity of a decedent’s heirs.
An affidavit of heirship is not an alternative to probate, but an alternative that may be used when probate is unnecessary or not opened. The affidavit is used as a record that the heir is likely to have an ownership claim to the decedent’s property.
An affidavit of heirship is used as a reference to determine if an heir may have an ownership claim to the decedent’s property. Thus, it does not provide the certainty that complete probate does. Perhaps an unknown will is discovered and, if probated, will divest ‘rightful heirs’ of ownership of the decedent’s property.
An affidavit of heirship does not protect against other heirs who later claim to have an interest in the decedent’s property.
If you decide to hire a probate attorney, we would be happy to assist you. If you are probating an estate on your own considering hiring an attorney, we offer free initial consultations,, and can provide you with some help along your way.
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