How to transfer house title after death in Texas
The process used to transfer house title after death in Texas is determined by whether the property owner died with a Will or without a Will. A deceased home owner’s house may often be known as “heir property”.
If the deceased property owner had a will stating who the property should be transferred to, the will should be filed for probate within 4 years of the date of death. The property may subsequently be transferred or sold by the Executor named in the will according to the wishes of the deceased owner. You will need an Executor’s Deed in this case.
On the other hand, if the deceased owner died without a will, his or her heirs will need to be identified before the property may be sold or transferred. The property cannot be transferred with clear title until heirship has been properly established. A document called an Affidavit of Heirship is used for this purpose.
Note: If planned for in advance, a property owner may decide how they wish to transfer home ownership after death. A Transfer on Death Deed may be used instead of a will. However, this deed cannot be used unless it was created, signed, and notarized before the property owner passed away.
Transfer of property after death without a Will.
Two documents are recommended for the transfer of property after death without a Will.
- An Affidavit of Heirship. The Affidavit of Heirship is a sworn statement that identifies the heirs. It is signed in front of a notary by an heir and two witnesses knowledgeable about the family history of the deceased. Once it is signed notarized, the Affidavit of Heirship is ready to be recorded with the deeds records in the county where the property is located. The Affidavit of Heirship itself does not transfer property title. Rather it identifies the heirs who are now the owners of the property.
- The Deed. This is the document that transfers property title. Typically, a General Warranty Deed is used. One or more of the identified heirs may wish to transfer or sell their interest in the property. The Deed is signed by the heirs for this purpose. Once the deed is signed and notarized, the property may be transferred or sold according to the heirs’ wishes.
Good to know: The Affidavit of Heirship should be recorded first to identify the heirs. However, both documents may be recorded at the same time.
Transfer deed of house after death.
Transferring the deed of a house after death is not always a straightforward process. But in general, the deceased house owner’s name must be removed from the house title and the “heirs at law” need to be identified.
A helpful chart, courtesy of Travis County probate Judge Guy Herman, may be found at the link below.
This chart explains the Texas Descent and Distribution very well. https://www.traviscountytx.gov/images/probate/Docs/DnD_diagrams.pdf
In any case, having an experienced real estate attorney prepare your documents would be a good idea. Speak directly with attorney Scott Steinbach at 972-960-1850 if you need more clarity regarding your situation. There is no fee for your call.
Documents for deed transfer after death. Affidavit of Heirship and General Warranty deed combination prepared for $495
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