Denton, TX asked in Probate for Texas

Q: Jailbird brother won't sign to sell moms house. The other 5 of us want to sell. There was no will/probate. Can we sell?

I have affidavits of heirship, and POA from 4 of my 5 siblings (heirs). There is one heir in Jail. He was living in the house with mom when she died 6 years ago. She had no will, so he was squatting and turned it into a drug house. We missed probate. He's now been in jail a year. His drug dealing buddies are squatting there. There is $20K in back property taxes. Can we well this house since I have the heirship affidavits and 5 of 6 of us want to sell?

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

A: No. Who will buy an undivided 5/6th interest in a house?

But you did not "miss probate." Hire a local probate lawyer to file an Application for Determination of Heirship and Issuance of Letters of Administration. The court-appointed administrator can sell the house and distribute the net proceeds six ways.

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Richardson, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: If you do find a will, you have 4 years to probate. If there's no will, then you will need to go to probate court to get an "administrator" appointed by the judge. The administrator will have the power to sell the home. The cost of going to court can be reimbursed from the sale of the home, before the heirs get their shares. With those back taxes, it would probably be a good idea to get this process started sooner rather than later.

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