Affidavit of Heirship

February 5, 2022

Affidavit of Heirship – Dallas County

Affidavit of Heirship – Dallas County

The estate planning questions being answered below are not substitutes for real, legal advice. If you want to schedule a consultation with Rashelle Fetty at The Fetty Firm, P.C., click above or call the number to make sure you get trusted, excellent estate planning advice to answer all of your questions and help assist you in solving your problems.

Can you transfer ownership of the deceased’s property without going through the formal probate process?

Some of the deceased’s (decedent’s) property may pass without the need for a formal probate process. Methods include small estate affidavits, affidavits of heirship, statements of inheritance for mobile homes, and applications to determine heirs.

What criteria qualify an estate for a small estate affidavit?

Chapter 205 of the Texas Estates Code allows the heirs at law (distributees) of someone who died intestate (that is, died without a will) to file a small estate affidavit with the court as an alternative to going through the probate process. In order for the distributees to file the small estate affidavit, the following must be true about the estate:

  1. No petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted;
  2. Thirty days have passed since the decedent has died, and
  3. The value of the assets of the decedent’s estate, excluding the value of the decedent’s homestead and exempt property, is less than or equal to $75,000
  4. an affidavit that meets the requirements of Section 205.002 is filed with the clerk of the court that has jurisdiction and venue of the estate;
  5. the judge approves the affidavit as provided by Section 205.003;
  6. the distributees comply with Section 205.004 for notice; a certified copy must go to each person who owes money to the estate, who is in custody or possession of estate property, or who anyone else who acts as an agent for any other right belonging to the estate.
  7. a certified copy of the affidavit and order of approval are filed in the county property records.

How do you prepare a small estate affidavit?

The small estate affidavit must be sworn to by two disinterested witnesses (that is, people over age 18 who are not heirs to the estate) as well as each distributee of the estate who has legal capacity. It also must include a list of all known estate assets and liabilities, including which assets are exempt, and contain the relevant family history that show each person’s right as an estate heir to receive estate assets.

What real property can be transferred with a small estate affidavit?

The small estate affidavit will only transfer title of the deceased person’s homestead. Any other real property owned by the decedent cannot be transferred by using or filing a small estate affidavit. To transfer the decedent’s homestead to the distributees, the real property, and a proper legal description of it, must be listed in the affidavit among the deceased’s assets. Once the small estate affidavit is approved by the judge, a certified copy of the affidavit and the court order approving it must be filed (that is, “recorded”) with the real property records of the county where the real property is located.

When do you use an affidavit of heirship?

An affidavit of heirship can be used when someone dies without a will, and the estate consists mostly of real property titled in the deceased’s name. It is an affidavit used to identify the heirs to real property when the deceased died without a will (that is, intestate).

Additional Links: Tarrant County Estate Planning