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Real Estate: Texas/Is a Warranty Deed enough?

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Question
My mom's husband died last year and she wants to deed me their house in Texas. He had a will leaving her the entirety of his estate, so there's no question about heirship. The house has no mortgage or liens against it, and her name is on the deed. Is there anything other than a Warranty Deed we need to file to effect this transfer? Thank you in advance!

Answer
The chain of title at the courthouse must show that both your mom and her husband, or his estate, conveyed their respective interests to you.  The fact that there is a will is notification - but the court must establish the right for someone to stand as the representative of his interest and execute the deed conveying his interest to you.  In other words, everyone who has an interest must convey on paper.

You and the family may understand that there is no question about heirship but that must be reduced to paper.  This can be completed in the form of an affidavit or through the probate of the will.  You may have already completed the probate which is the course of the courts reviewing the will and establishing an executor or representative for his estate.  If you have not then there is another way.

How would I, as a disinterested third party, know what his intent for that interest was based solely on deeds recorded at the courthouse?  Once this obstacle has been cleared then a warranty deed or special warranty deed will suffice.  So, first either probate the will in the courts or have an affidavit of heirship prepared and recorded.

If you are able to go the route of the affidavit - as determined by whether or not he had enough property, stock and other assets such as partnership interest to parcel out that would require a probate in the courts then you may locate an affidavit of heirship online and have two disinterested parties (who swear that they are familiar with his heirship information by their own independent observation) execute the affidavit before a notary public.  Record the affidavit prior to the deed conveying the property.

Once the affidavit and the deed are recorded you should be complete.  An affidavit can be challenged in the courts by persons who believe that they should have had an interest but once the will is probated in the courts it pretty much seals the interest by putting everyone on notice that the interest has been rightfully conveyed.  Overturning a probate is very difficult whereas the affidavit is more susceptible.

Cliff Williams
www.bcwilliamslaw.com

Real Estate: Texas

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Cliff Williams

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Questions related to ownership and transfer of title in real property within the State of Texas. I can answer general questions related to real property in other states but I will be specific with anyone asking a Texas real property question.

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Texas Title Attorney

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Business Management and a Law Degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth. Member of the Tarrant County Bar, Dallas County Bar, and Texas State Bar.

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