Pflugerville, TX asked in Probate for Texas

Q: Want to amend Granddad's birth cert but am not his legal rep. How do I become his legal rep? He died in 1982.

Grandpa was born in 1917. His birth certificate doesn’t show his name & was never amended, so I applied to DSHS to have it amended to show his name--for genealogical purposes.

DSHS’s BC Correction Application asks my relationship to the person named on the BC, but none of the boxes applies to me. I spoke to a DSHS supervisor 1/31/19, told him so, & asked him which box to check. He told me to submit the paperwork as is, so I did.

Went to DSHS in person 2X & have had email convos with DSHS & am now told to “get a court order showing [me] as being the managing conservator” or they can’t process my request.

Grandpa had no assets & died intestate 9/25/1982. He has 3 daughters who are still alive, but they’re old & sick & don’t want to bother with this.

What’s the simplest & cheapest way to get a court order allowing me to amend Grandpa’s BC? Isn’t it too late to have his estate probated? My aunts might sign affidavits of heirship, but getting them to court is impossible.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Arlington, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: I can conceive of no inexpensive solution that would result in a court order. A declaratory judgment action or a determination of heirship may result in the court order vital statistics is requiring. Both procedures would require a minimum of several thousand dollars in attorney fees and court costs. Was a personal representative ever appointed for your grandfather's estate? Often independent administrations remain open indefinitely. Perhaps one of his children was appointed as the personal representative for his estate and has the authority to fill out the forms changing the information on his birth certificate.

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