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Is a title, deed, or some legal document to my house a requirement if I don't have one

Temple, TX |

My husband started building our house, but was unable to finish before he became ill and passed away. After his death, I hired a contractor, paid cash from what my husband left me and had the house finished. I have had the property changed over to my name but I have no deed or title to the house because the only thing on the property when my husband bought it was an old house trailer that I had to have taken apart because it was falling apart, and removed. My questions are: do I hire an appraiser to get me the value of the new house where I live, do I need a deed or title on the house, how do I get one or what do I need to get?

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Attorney answers 1


A couple of things. When you and your husband (or one of you) purchased the property (the land), you should have received a warranty deed from the seller. When your husband died, if he left a will, you should have had his will probated, and presumably he left everything to you, including the property/land and whatever was on it (house trailer, half-constructed house, etc.). If he did not have a will, his property probably passed 100% to you - but it depends on if he had children that were not also your children. To pass title to the property to the next person if you want to sell it (or just clear up the records so it won't be a mess for your heirs), you will need to have an affidavit of heirship concerning your husband. You might be able to get away with doing this without the probate court, but might not.

I'm not sure from your post why you need an appraiser at this point - are you trying to argue the tax valuation? get a loan? get fire/flood insurance? Not a bad idea to do this regardless but perhaps you have some reason. You can hire a residential appraiser familiar with your area to perform such an appraisal and use it for all those reasons.

"you had the property changed over to your name" - this was presumably in the county tax records.

Since there are so many fact-specific questions/answers, you should hire a local attorney that handles both probate and real estate matters to advise you on making sure title is clear to you from your husband's estate (or advise you what the situation is). If you're thinking of selling the property, you should talk to a title company that would issue a title policy when you sell the property to the next owner about the title company's requirements.

good luck.



Thank you. i just want to make sure everything is in order and make sure the records are accurate. He left a will with everything to me to take care of and so many things including the house were not finished. Now that the house is finished, I want to claim it as a homestead and am unsure how to do this because no house was there before and the trailer we lived in was the homestead but i had to have it taken done due to it was a hazard, was falling apart.

Michael J Yentzen

Michael J Yentzen


You should contact the tax assessor. They will be able to tell you what you need to do to file for homestead exemption.



I will. Thank you for your help.

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