What process do I need to do to get my grandmothers estate if she died without a will?

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What process do I need to do to get my grandmothers estate if she died without a will?

My grandmother passed away in 2016 without a will and all the heirs are in agreement that I can take her land and house. I need to know what paper work I need to get set up so I can get it taken care of before the taxes eat it up and the process I need to go through to get it into my name. Someone mentioned doing affidavit of heir-ship and having my brother, father and uncle sign it agreeing the estate should be given to me and take that to probate court. Is this correct or is there other steps I need to take?

Asked on October 18, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Texas does recognize affidavits of heirship.  If everyone signs off, then you can effectively transfer assets for certain small estates.  If all of the heirs are in agreement, then this can be a very cost effective option to probate. 
The size of the estate and the liabilities of the estate will determine whether or not the estate needs to be probated.  If your mother did not leave a will, and the estate is a larger estate, then you may be required to file a probate as an intestate probate, meaning one without a will.
To know for sure which way you can proceed, then arrange a consultation with a probate attorney to review the size of your grandmother's estate.  If the size is such that affidavits of heirship are appropriate, then the attorney can draw up the affidavits for you to submit to the heirs for their signature, thus eliminating the need for a probate.  From there, it's simply a matter of having the heirs sign the affidavits, returning them to the attorney, and then the attorney can file the affidavits with the county clerk (in the title records) since you will be conveying real property.  You could do the affidavits yourself, but I really recommend that you have an attorney draft the affidavits.  If the affidavits are not correctly drafted, then the transfer will not be effective to transfer ownership. 


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