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What Do I Do If A Loved One Dies Without A Will? (Part One)

Unfortunately, I get this call many times every day. If the property in the estate does not exceed the value of $75,000, not including the value of a homestead, a court proceeding called a “small estate affidavit” can sometimes be used. However, in most situations, this very simplified proceeding cannot be used. In those situations, there are generally are two options.

  • Application for Determination of Heirship (a court proceeding)
  • Non-court Involved Affidavit of Heirship

Which of these two options will be best varies with each situation, depending on the types of assets owned and the third parties who will be required to transfer the assets. Some third parties only will accept the court proceeding. Commonly, this could be brokerages and insurance companies. However, many third parties will accept the less expensive Affidavit of Heirship. Even title companies routinely accept an Affidavit of Heirship to transfer title to real estate unless there is a very large amount of money involved.

This is part one of What Do I Do If A Loved One Dies Without A Will? Here I will discuss the more formal application for determination of heirship.

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Why Parents Of Young Children Need Wills

Most young parents don’t want to even think about the possibility of death and see no need for estate planning. However, if a tragedy struck and both parents of minor children were killed, the situation left for their loved ones to deal with is extremely complicated, expensive, and emotional.

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When is probating a will in Texas not necessary

Sometimes, if your loved one has no assets that are not already disposed of by beneficiary designation or payable on death provisions, there is no need to probate a will. This frequently happens if they had already sold their home and were residing in a nursing home, and the only assets they still owned were liquid assets.

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Advance Planning Tools To Help Avoid Probate

Sometimes, even when a person has drawn up a will, probate of the will may not be necessary. Advance planning with probate-alternative documents can avoid the need for probate in many cases.

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3 Reasons You May Need A Guardianship

Guardianships are a complicated legal proceeding. Most people have no clue exactly how complicated and expensive they are. However, there are estate planning tools that avoid you having to create a guardianship.

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What Is A Power Of Attorney And When Do I Need One?

What Is A Power Of Attorney?

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Avoid Probate: 3 Easy Estate Planning Tools

Here are three simple tools that help you pass on assets at death without the necessity of probate, saving all parties money, time, and stress.

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What Are Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements And Why Would I Need One?

A common misconception about prenuptial and postnuptial agreements is that they are only desired by wealthy, greedy individuals. Truthfully, many couples benefit from having such an agreement in place.

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What Are The Legal Steps In A Foreclosure?

You are carrying the note on the sale of a property, and the borrower has missed several payments, has failed to provide proof of insurance, or has not paid the property taxes. If your efforts to get them to comply have been unsuccessful, it may be time to foreclose on the property.

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Should I Agree To Carry The Note On The Sale Of Property?

When should a property owner carry the note on the sale of a property? There are four key factors you should consider before deciding to finance the sale of your property.

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