Maybe you have a few questions about selling inherited real estate. That’s okay; most people do. So here’s a quick collection of some of the questions people ask us… along with our answers. If you still have a question, don’t hesitate to contact us (or give us a call) and we’ll be happy to answer it for you.
Inheritance vs Probate vs Will: Real estate can many times be inherited, passed on to the deceased heirs, with out a Will. If there is a Will however, generally, that Will will have to be probated before the real estate can be sold (but not always – read on).
Q: Do all heirs have to agree to sell inherited real estate in Texas?
A: If the real estate has not been probated, to be valid, a sales contract must be signed by all parties that have an heirship interest in the real estate. If all these heirs did not sign then you do not have a contract that binds all owners to sell. If all the heirs don’t sign the contract and agree to sell there will be no sale. If the real estate has been probated then the probate court has issued a ruling stating who the legal owners are. In this case, generally, only the executor of the estate will be required to sign the sales contract.
Q: Will I owe tax on real estate that I inherit?
A: Texas does not impose a state inheritance or estate tax. You may owe Federal Taxes but this is unlikely as well as you will receive a “stepped up basis” on the real estate before you sell it. This means that the IRS will allow you to use the real estate current value as the value you acquired the home for and not the value of the real estate from when the deceased owner purchased it.
Q: Can siblings force the sale of inherited real estate?
A: When siblings inherit real estate the best case scenario is that they all agree on what to do with it next. Unfortunately, differences of opinion are common, causing divisions at an already difficult time, but without going to court one sibling can’t force another to sell inherited real estate against their will.
Q: How do I transfer the deed to inherited real estate in Texas?
A: You can convey clear title of the real estate to yourself and any other heirs. This can be accomplished by completing a transfer on death deed form, getting it notarized, and filing it in the land records office in the County where the real estate is located. To transfer a deed to sell inherited home please read on…
Q: Do I have to probate real estate before selling it?
A: You do not need to probate real estate before selling it. If there is a simple Will the executor can sell the real estate. If there is no Will all of the possible heirs will have to submit an heirship affidavit to the title company before closing. Their attorney will then determine who the rightful heirs are and wo the sales proceeds will be released to.
Q: How long does it take to probate a Will in Texas.
A: For simple and straightforward Will in Texas the probate court should have a resolution within three to six months. However, if the original Will cannot be located or the will is contested by family, friends or even creditors and predator’s, the process can take up to a year or more. If a Will does get contested, a friend or family member can argue the terms of the Will with the court for a new resolution. Or, if necessary, an attorney can be hired to do so.
Q: When is probate not necessary in Texas?
A: Some assets that can be easily transferred from a person’s estate to the heirs without going through the probate process include: Community property that entails the right of survivorship. Joint tenancy property or real estate that entails a right of survivorship.
Contrary to popular belief probate is not always necessary to sell inherited real estate. Even a Will is not necessary in many cases.
Q: What Does it cost to probate a will in Texas?
A: The court costs run about $380. A larger, more complicated estate might run a bit higher due to the attorneys’ fees, but unusually these fees do not exceed $2,500.
Q: To sell Texas inherited real estate do I need to probate the Will?
A: If a Will exists then it generally must be probated before the real estate is sold. To do this, a probate hearing is held, in the County where all of the deceased person’s property is being held, all their debts paid, and the remaining assets distributed according to the provisions of the Will and the Texas Probate Code.
Q: If there is no Will how can you sell real estate in Texas?
A: The short answer is yes. Texas has two exceptions in its probate process.
Affidavit of Heirship
An Affidavit of Heirship is a sworn statement that heirs can use in Texas to establish ownership of the real estate when the original owner dies intestate (without a Will).
Muniment of Title
A Muniment of Title is a legal document that helps indicate the ownership of an asset or real property. If the deceased didn’t have a Will and by chance has not secured any debt on the home, you can be given the Muniment. You will only need to go the County Court of Texas that the home is located in and have the Will validated. Once the Will has been validated and approved, the heirs names will appear on the titles of the home.
Q: What happens to real estate when the owner dies without a Will in Texas?
A: If a person is single and dies without a Will Texas law and the Texas Probate Code dictates how the ownership interests in the real estate will be divided. If there is no joint tenancy with survivorship in the deed to the real estate, then before it can be sold, a clear title and heirship must be determined.
When no Will exists, an Affidavit of Heirship may be prepared. This involves providing a complete family tree to demonstrate who the rightful heirs are and their relationship to the deceased. It’s easiest if there haven’t been a lot of marriages and children, or the pool of decedents or other heirs is small. After the Affidavit of Heirship is complete, an attorney can prepare a deed transferring title to the real estate’s heirs or to a buyer if selling inherited home.
If a you are single and die without a Will in Texas, your property will be distributed as follows: Your estate will pass equally to your parents if both are living. If one parent has died, and you don’t have any siblings, then your estate will pass to your surviving parent. If both of your parents are deceased your property will go to your siblings. If you siblings are deceased your property will go to your nieces and nephews.
Bonus) The Steps to Texas Probate
Step 1: Filing
Step 2: Posting
Step 3: Will Validation
Step 4: Cataloging Assets
Step 5: Beneficiaries Identified
Step 6: Notifying Creditors
Step 7: Resolving Disputes
Step 8: Distributing Assets
If you don’t want all the work and headaches associated with inheritances, Wills and probate just connect with us. We are licensed by the State of Texas and have more than 30 years experience buying and selling inherited and probate real estate. If selling inherited real estate you owe it to yourself and your family to learn about your all or your selling options.
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Have inherited real estate to sell? Click on Selling Inherited Real Estate. Have inherited land to sell? Click on Selling Inherited Land. We buy inherited homes and inherited land in the DFW Metroplex area and throughout North Texas. If you are selling inherited home connect with us… we’d love to make you a fair no-obligation no-hassle offer. Take it or leave it. You’ve got nothing to lose.
*We are Not providing legal or accounting advice in this article. When selling inherited real estate you should find competent legal and accounting counsel if you can find them.