From time to time, I am contacted by potential clients regarding the Affidavit of Heirship as an alternative to the probate process. The Affidavit of Heirship is contained in Texas Estates Code Chapter 203. If your loved one left a will, it is best not to use an Affidavit of Heirship for a number of reasons. However, if you do use the Affidavit of Heirship even though there is a will, or you must attach the original will to the Affidavit of Heirship. Keep in mind that if there are any ambiguities in the will (i.e. probably a will which was not done by an attorney), the will needs to go through Probate. Keep in mind the Affidavit of Heirship is the bottom step of the Probate ladder.
The statutory form of affidavit is contained in Estates Code Section 203.002, but not all title companies will accept this form. The Law Offices of Brian Hill PLLC have developed our own form based on feedback from title companies in the area. At least two disinterested witnesses must sign the affidavit of heirship, plus at least one heir before a notary.
This firm strongly discourages the use of Affidavits of Heirship found online because if the form is improper, it can cause harm to the title of the property. The Affidavit of Heirship must carefully address the needs of each Decedentâ€™s estate. Once prepared, the original Affidavit of Heirship must be filed in the Real Property Records of the county where the property is located. Once the Affidavit of Heirship is on file for at least five (5) years, it is prima facia evidence, meaning resumed to be true.
Drafting and signing an Affidavit of Heirship can be a confusing process for someone who does not know what they are doing. It is very easy to mess up and can cause harm to the property which can be expensive to fix. The Law Offices of Brian Hill PLLC can evaluate your probate case for free and determine if your case qualifies for an Affidavit of Heirship.
Remember, if you need a will, or need to probate a will, call Brian Hill.