Asked in Probate for Texas

Q: My mom recently passed away, she added my stepdad to the deed of the house before she passed. There was no will

Can he sell the home, my mother has 3 kids. Tx is where the home is

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1 Lawyer Answer
Paul Premack
Paul Premack
  • Probate Lawyer
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: The wording of the deed where she added your step-father makes a big difference. There are a wide variety of outcomes depending on what that deed actually says.

If it simply states that the house is owned as joint tenants, then he would likely have a 1/2 interest in the property and - since she died without a Will - her "heirs at law" would likely become owners of the other half. If that is the case, he would not be able to sell without the participation of the heirs at law. The opposite is also true: the heirs at law cannot sell without his consent and participation because it is his homestead. Under Texas law, whether he owns an interest in the house or not, he cannot be involuntarily removed from the homestead or have it sold without his consent and participation.

You should be hiring a probate attorney to assist you to sort out the ownership rights, and to advise you on what the deed allows or does not allow.

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