By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

When a person dies holding real estate in their name, the property doesn’t transfer to heaven. Some people think the situation can become quite the opposite. The process can be agonizing.

The owner who has died obviously can’t sell their home after they’re dead. The property cannot be sold until their name has been removed from the title. That can be a long and often complicated process. Often the heirs aren’t prepared to deal with the months of upkeep expenses, taxes, mortgage payments, etc. that come with the property.

There are usually two situations when selling an estate property. The owner died either with or without a will to designate their wishes.

If the owner died with a will, the heirs can take immediate action. The will can be entered into probate proceedings with the county court within four years of death. A last will and testament does not automatically cause the real estate to transfer. It is just a statement of the deceased’s intent. The property must legally transfer to another person(s) or entity if it is to be sold.

An Heirship Affidavit may often be used if the will has left the property only to the direct descendants of the deceased. Sometimes, this may be a less expensive and faster process than a probate proceeding.

An Affidavit of Heirship is also required if the deceased died without a will.


Wednesday WTF

This will not be pretty.

Have y’all seen the forecast? It’s like Beginner’s Hades up in here. For the Wednesday WTF readers who are not from Texas, let me explain: “spring” in Texas is more like a toddler before naptime — blowing hot and cold, irrational, and really inconvenient.

And it just so happens that this week will reach the 90s at some point, and Sunday at WTF headquarters, there was this sudden whine from the air conditioner, and then nothing. The doohickey that does the spinning wasn’t spinning, and the whole thing was rather warm, and it was whining like an overstimulated kindergartener in a Chuck E. Cheese at midnight.

Wednesday WTF (more…)