Houston, TX asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas

Q: My father passed away and I live in his house, how do I transfer ownership in my name so I can sell?

My father passed away and I live in his house, my brother doesn't want anything out if it and said he will sign whatever needs to be signed, I had another brother who passed away, he had 4 kids they will all sign as well, what paperwork do I need to file? We do not want to go to probate, would an affidavit of heirship be appropriate?

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

A: In theory, if your father left nothing but the house and had no debts (owed no income or property or other taxes, had no medical or funeral expenses, had no credit card debt, never used Medicaid, etc.), a title company would accept an Affidavit of Heirship and you could avoid probate. A court would not enforce an Affidavit of Heirship until five years had passed with no one complaining that they were a "forgotten" heir.

Many people want to avoid probate mistakenly thinking that it is as expensive and time-consuming as it is in other states. In Texas all the heirs could agree for one to serve as independent administrator without bond, significantly shortening the time and lessening the cost.

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

A: An affidavit of heirship may be an appropriate remedy as well as a disclaimer of inheritance. It would depend on the actual facts of the situation. I suggest speaking privately with a probate attorney and a title company.

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