Legal Question in Family Law in Texas

live in texas my husband and i bought land and home. he is now deceased. can i sell property without children getting in the mix?

Asked on 5/30/13, 8:27 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Perez Perez Law Office, PLLC

The answer depends on how title to the property was held, and whether your husband had a will. For example, if the title was held by both of you as joint tenants with right of survivorship, then you would have become sole owner upon your husband's death. If you did not have survivorship rights, but your husband had a valid will that bequeathed his share of the property to you, you would also become sole owner. In either case, the property would be yours to dispose of as you wish.

However, if the property was not held in joint tenancy with survivorship rights, and your husband died without a will, a court will have to determine the ownership of the property in an heirship proceeding. According to the Texas laws on intestate succession, if your husband's only children were also your children, then you would inherit your husband's share of the community property, and be sole owner. If your husband had any children from a previous relationship, however, you would receive half of his share of the property, and the other half would go to all of his children in equal shares. The heirship proceeding, if necessary, will take time and cost money - which illustrates why it is important to have a will.

I would recommend that you consult with a probate attorney in your area for specific advice on your situation. Good luck!

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Answered on 5/30/13, 10:10 am

Kevin Henderson Kevin Henderson Attorney at Law

Robert gave a very complete answer to this. The only thing I would add is that to sell the property you will probably be working with a title insurance company. The title company will require some sort of proceeding to show that you are the owner of the property. This can be as simple as an affidavit of heirship or as complicated as a declaration of heirship proceeding with guardianships for minor children. Find a good real estate/probate lawyer and work with him.

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Answered on 5/30/13, 10:32 am

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