Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas

Q: Does a deed need to be in parent's name in order to be considered an heir to property?

Parent died and spouse still living but the house deed was never put in his name.

5 Lawyer Answers
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Yes. The deed is not just some piece of paper but the official record of who owns the property.

Eric James Smith
Eric James Smith
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Arlington, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: The name on Title / deed does not affect the community or separate character of the property. If the property was acquired during marriage there is a rebuttable presumption that the property is community property, regardless of whether the spouse is on the title, and that surviving spouse would have a 1/2 interest in the property. In addition, a surviving spouse has a Texas constitutional right to remain in the marital home regardless of ownership in the property. If there is no will, a determination of heirship and a declarative judgment on the character of the property may be necessary to protect the surviving spouse's rights.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: There is not enough information to answer your question. How is the house titled now? In the name of the parent who died? Does the parent who died have a will? Is the surviving spouse also your parent?

Or is the house titled in the name of the surviving spouse? If so, again, is he/she also your parent? Is the house his/her separate property, i.e. owned before the marriage or inherited?

Your best bet is to make an appointment with a local attorney for a consultation.

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: I'm not clear on your question. Are you asking because your an heir to the parent or the parent was an heir to someone else and then they died? Which spouse is still living? Please clarify your question.

Rahlita D. Thornton
Rahlita D. Thornton
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: It depends on when the property was purchased and whether the parties were married at that time.

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