Heirship Determination Attorneys in Houston Helping Heirs Inherit Property
There are more probate cases today than ever before, as dying without a will has become the norm. Nearly 68 percent of people will die without one. All important decisions that would have been made in drafting a will are left up to the court, which is, in part, why the probate process exists.
You’re not alone if a family member recently passed away and left no acknowledgment or legal trail as to how their money, real estate, and other assets should be handled. This doesn’t mean, however, that you have no options or that you’re not possibly entitled to their assets.
If you are a family member of the decedent in question, our probate attorneys can help you file a determination of heirship to prove to third parties and the court that you are, indeed, a legal heir and have rights to the decedent’s belongings.
The Hatchett Law Firm can help you through the heirship determination process and, following this, file an affidavit of heirship to legally pursue your loved one’s small estate or related assets.
We have years of experience helping families through both simple and complex probate situations. If you need helpful legal guidance today, reach out to our team: 281-214-6541.
What is an Heirship?
Heirship is the legal right a person has to receive money, property, or possessions from a person who has died, which has to be legally approved by the court first.
You might be an heir to property if you are directly related to a family member who recently passed without a will. This means the decedent did not communicate how they wanted their belongings to be distributed and to whom, through a personal representative or an executor.
An affidavit of heirship is the answer to this, which is a process that’s used to avoid costly legal proceedings when the decedent only had real property, personal property, or a small estate.
In Texas, an affidavit of heirships is appropriate for nominal assets or a small estate. Per texaslawhelp.com, you can file a small estate affidavit if the following is true:
- No petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been approved.
- Thirty days have passed since the decedent died.
- The value of assets, excluding the estate, is less than or equal to $75,000.
- The judge approves the affidavit.
- Other family members or “heirs” agree on how the assets will be distributed.
- A certified copy and order of approval are given.
The Hatchett Law Firm can help you understand the full scope and affidavit process, what’s needed, and what to expect when you take these legal steps.
Do I Have Heirship Rights without a Will?
If you are a legal heir, our probate lawyers can help facilitate an heirship determination if you believe you are entitled to property left behind by a family member without a will. To gauge whether a determination of heirship is right for you, each of the following should be true:
- Your deceased loved one died without a will, also called dying intestate, and you are a family member who might be entitled to money or property.
- You can legally identify yourself, with proof, as a lawful heir.
- You are interested in taking over your loved one’s estate without going through costly probate court.
- You and other potential heirs agree on how to distribute the assets.
- Third-party or disinterested parties can verify that you have a right to your loved one’s estate.
We can help you file a determination of heirship, and the court will review your determination of heirship application to approve or deny your request.
An approved affidavit serves as evidence about a property once it’s been on file for at least five years. With this timeframe, the court can use information as a chain to connect any available heirs and a title of transfer of property, per Texas Estates Code 203.001.
The Hatchett Law Firm can walk you through the affidavit process, from start to finish, including finding a notary and disinterested parties (or witnesses) to validate the affidavit of heirship.
What Does an Heirship Determination Lawyer Do?
Navigating the ins and outs of seeking an inheritance without a will is best suited for a well-groomed team of probate attorneys who understand the determination of heirship and affidavit of heirship process. The Hatchett Law firm is your go-to resource.
Our probate attorneys can help you coordinate, prepare, file, and will represent you in a determination of heirship, as well as drafting and facilitating an affidavit of heirship, so you can legally pursue the property of a deceased loved one.
An affidavit of heirship typically requires gathering the following information and consulting other family members to prevent any friction or disputes about who gets what.
- Name, address, and date of death
- Marital status of the deceased person
- Names of surviving heirs
- A personal statement claiming the deceased did not have a will
- A personal statement that you are an heir under Texas intestacy law
- Types of property to be distributed, per state affidavit of heirship law
- Agreement by deceased’s heirs regarding the process for property to be distributed
- Third-party verification by witnesses that you have a right to inherit the property
Under Texas law, individuals applying for testamentary letters, letters of administration, determinations of heirship, and guardianships of the person or estate must be represented by an attorney.
Our legal services will work to your advantage when understanding and working through the complexities of heirship and estate law in Texas.
How Do I Find Out if I’m an Heir to Assets?
Our estate planning and probate lawyers have experience in estate setup and preparation, so you can ensure that your heirs and beneficiaries get your hard-earned assets without court involvement and the headaches associated with probate legal proceedings.
An affidavit of heirship is a legal service we can provide if there’s a small estate and personal belongings involved. Alternatively, if you are dealing with a complicated situation and disputes among other possible heirs and are possibly facing probate court, consult our probate attorneys to come up with a strategy.
In either scenario, you are not alone in this process, and we have all of the bases covered related to estate planning, probate court, affidavit of heirship, and related legal services.
If you are considering filing an affidavit of heirship to pursue money or property from your deceased loved one’s estate, we can save you time, money, and stress by assisting you with heirship questions.
Consider a free consultation with our heirship attorneys, who can answer your questions and concerns, so you can move forward with confidence and clarity. Call The Hatchett Law Firm today: 281-214-6541.