What happens if my ex-husband died and didn’t leave a Will?

He wanted our daughter to have everything. When we divorced we took my name off the house but not off the mortgage. How do I go about getting the house and his truck in her name? We want to sell the house and pay off what’s owed so she can get something to live in.

Asked on June 19, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You need to visit with a probate attorney in the county and state where he passed away... because that jurisdiction's rules will control.  In Texas, certain estates of a certain value are required to be submitted to probate.  This is where the court decides how everything is to be divided and handled.  Even though you are no longer a spouse, you still have an interest in participating in the probate because of the mortgage in your name.  You can ask the court to order the house sold and the proceeds distributed as you suggest.
If the value of the house is not very much, you may be able to avoid probate with what is called an affidavit of heirship.  These are really the easiest documents used for simple estate matters.... however, many mortgage companies will want a court order before they do anything with accounts...which may send you to probate court.
After you visit with a probate attorney, they can help you assess whether or not probation or affidavit of heirship is the best method for your ex-husband's estate.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.