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Widowed mother dies, leaves no will. What is the easiest and least expensive way to get her house in one of her children's name?

Houston, TX |

My widowed mother passed away in 2008 and left no will. At the time I took care of my brother (now deceased) and sister both with special needs and had no time to look into changing the name on the house she had. I was told that all I needed was an Affidavit of Heirship and that would take care of it, but I want to make sure this is done correctly. I still take care of my sister and my financial situation is not very good, this is the reason I need to know the easiest and least expensive way of getting this done. I do have an older brother who is in agreement with the house being put in my name. The house is in Comal County.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. This is not as simple as you believe it to be. You have siblings who have rights and perhaps nieces and nephews, as well, who you cannot just ignore. If your sister is incapacitated, she may not be able to consent to your having the house, or to sign off on her interest. I would review this with a probate attorney before it gets any more complicated and expensive.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  2. Speak to a probate lawyer about a judicial determination of heirship and a limited administration. Hopefully your sister doesn't need a guardianship too.

    John Zgourides
    www.zgourides.com

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


  3. You cannot get to where you want to get. By that, I mean you cannot get sole ownership of the Comal property. When your mother died without a Will and as a widow whatever she owned was inherited by her children, all of them. One of those children died. How his interest passed must also be determined. I don't think affidavits of heirship are going to do any good. You need at least a Determination of Heirship, which is a court proceeding for which you will need a lawyer.

    DISCLAIMER: This is not specific legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.


  4. I agree with the prior answers. Your surviving brother can certainly agree to deed you his interest. However, issues may arise depending on who gets your deceased brother's interest and their willingness to give you their portion and whether your disabled sister has the capacity and willingness to give you hers and whether she is receiving benefits, as any inheritance or gifts could jeopardize benefits she may be receiving.

    You need to find an attorney who practices in Comal County to assist you in this matter. Schedule a consultation, most are free, and give all the documents you have regarding the property, death certificates, family information and information on any other assets to the attorney. Feel free to contact my office if I may be of assistance, as I often practice in Comal County.

    Good Luck!
    Jessica Newill
    Newill Law Firm

    This answer contains general information. None of the information contained in this communication is intended as legal advice. You should neither act nor refrain from acting based on information obtained from the exchange of messages on this website. None of the information contained in this answer is privileged or confidential. You should retain an attorney to provide legal advice regarding this issue. Newill Law Firm provides estate planning and probate services. Call (210) 383-0546 for a FREE initial consultation.


  5. And it gets more complicated. I would be concerned about your deceased bother's share of the estate, too, but for a different reason. You say he had "special needs." Was he on Medicaid? If he was, it is possible that the state has a right to recover some or all of his interest. This may need to be addressed. When you are looking for a probate attorney, ask if they do Medicaid recovery work, too.

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