An Affidavit of Death in Texas is a sworn document stating that a person has passed away. It may be used to confirm the death of an owner of real estate property. The signed and notarized Affidavit of Death should be filed in the property records in the county where the deceased owner’s property is located.

Affidavit of Death for Real Estate

When a property owner passes away, you may need an Affidavit of Death before real estate property owned by the deceased is sold or transferred. An Affidavit of Death is filed in the county property records to verify that a property owner is deceased.

Life Estate Deed and Lady Bird Deed

For example, it is recommended that you file an Affidavit of Death to confirm the death of a Life Tenant named in a Life Estate Deed or a Lady Bird Deed. The life estates created by these documents end upon the death of the Life Tenant.

Good to know: With either a Life Estate Deed or a Lady Bird Deed and an Affidavit of Death, you will avoid the time and expense of probate. No probate is required for the property described in the deeds.

Note: A Life Estate Deed and a Lady Bird Deed are deeds used to transfer title or ownership of property to a person or persons called a “Remainder Person”. The current owner retains the right to use and occupy the property for the rest of his or her life. This person is called a “Life Tenant.” His or her use of the property known as a Life Estate.

Upon the death of the Life Tenant, the Life Estate terminates, and the Remainder Person owns the property 100%. However, you will need to file an Affidavit of Death in the property records to verify the Life Tenant is deceased and the Remainder Person owns the property 100%.

Transfer on Death Deed

Furthermore, it is also recommended that you use an Affidavit of Death with a Transfer on Death Deed.

A Transfer on Death Deed, also called a TODD, is a document that allows the current owner to name a person or persons he or she wants to receive the property upon the death of the current owner.

You can name more than one beneficiary of your property with a Transfer on Death Deed.

Good to know: A Transfer on Death Deed can be revoked or changed at any time before the death or mental incapacity of the current owner. To revoke a Transfer on Death Deed, you will need to file a Revocation of Transfer on Death Deed in the property records.

Upon the death of the current property owner who signed the Transfer on Death Deed, an Affidavit of Death should be filed in the property records.  This document confirms the death of the owner and thus the beneficiary or beneficiaries named on the Transfer on Death Deed are the new owners of the property.

Good to know: With a Transfer on Death Deed and an Affidavit of Death, the beneficiary or beneficiaries named in the Transfer on Death Deed will avoid the time and expense of probate. No probate is necessary for the property described in the Transfer on Death Deed.

Survivorship Agreement

A Survivorship Agreement, also called a Right of Survivorship, is a written document signed by co-owners of a property that states that if one owner dies, the ownership [title] to the property passes to the surviving owner. Upon the death of one owner, the property is owned 100% by the other owner.

An Affidavit of Death filed in the county property records is used to show that one owner is deceased and that the surviving owner now owns 100% of the property.

Good to know: When used for a Survivorship Agreement, the Affidavit of Death may be called a Survivorship Affidavit or an Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant.  

Affidavit of Death vs. Affidavit of Heirship

Although the two affidavits may be incorrectly referred to as “Affidavit of Death and Heirship”, they are not one and the same document. An Affidavit of Death is NOT the same as an Affidavit of Heirship.  They are two separate documents with very different purposes.

  • An Affidavit of Death is a sworn statement stating that an owner of property is deceased. It does not name the heirs of the deceased owner.
  • An Affidavit of Heirship is a sworn statement that identifies the heirs of a deceased property owner.

Signing and Filing an Affidavit of Death for Property

Make sure you sign the Affidavit of Death in front of a notary.  

The original signed and notarized document will need to be filed in the county clerk’s office in the county where the property is located.  You can do this by mailing it or you can take the document to the county clerk’s office in person.

Good to know:  If you opt to file the document in person at the county clerk’s office,  you may be required to show personal identification.  This is in order to prevent fraud.

There is a filing fee of approximately $40.  Please note that most county clerks will not accept a personal check.

Our fee to prepare an Affidavit of Death to confirm the death of a current property owner is $195.  We include signing and recording instructions with each document.  Click this button to fill out the form or email us at scott@texaspropertydeeds.com.

If you have any questions about an Affidavit of Death, call and speak directly with attorney Scott Steinbach at 972-960-1850. There is no fee for your call. Or email him at scott@texaspropertydeeds.com.

Similar Posts