Maybe you have a few questions about selling probate property. 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: A property 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 home can be sold (but not always – read on).
Q: Do all heirs have to agree to sell a probate property in Texas?
A: If the property has not been probated, to be valid, a sales contract must be signed by all parties that have an heirship interest in the property. 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 property 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 a property 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 property before you sell it. This means that the IRS will allow you to use the property’s current value as the value you acquired the home for and not the value of the home from when the deceased owner purchased it.
Q: Can siblings force the sale of probate property?
A: When siblings inherit a property, or during probate, 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 an probate property against their will.
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Q: How do I transfer the deed to an inherited property in Texas?
A: You can convey clear title of the home 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 property is located. To transfer a deed to sell inherited property please read on…
Q: Do I have to probate a property before selling it?
A: You do not need to probate a property before selling it. If there is a simple will the executor can sell the property. 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 who 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 a probate property. 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 a Texas inherited property do I need to probate the Will?
A: If a Will exists then it generally must be probated before the property 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 a property 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 property ownership 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 property.
Q: What happens to a property 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 property will be divided. If there is no joint tenancy with survivorship in the deed to the property, 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 property’s heirs or to a buyer if selling probate property.
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 properties. If selling probate property you owe it to yourself and your family to learn about your all or your selling options.
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Have a probate property to sell? Click on Selling Probate Property. Have probate land to sell? Click on Selling Probate Land. We buy probate houses and probate land in the DFW Metroplex area and throughout North Texas. If you are selling probate property 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 probate property you should find competent legal and accounting counsel if you can find them.