Hayes & Wilson, PLLC
Houston Texas
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Helping families with heirship determinations

The probate process can sometimes be a confusing and complicated one for a family that has lost a loved one. It can be especially so when the family's deceased loved one did not make a will. 

This is because, when a person dies without a will or other estate planning devices in place, there are generally no legally-binding instructions from the deceased regarding what is to be done with their estate. 

Thus, when a person dies with no will (this is known as dying intestate), there are many things that need to be determined. Two such things are who the deceased's legal heirs are and how the deceased's estate will be distributed among the heirs. When a person dies intestate, these two issues will generally be dictated by state descent and distribution laws.

The process of determining who the heirs are to a given intestate estate and how a given intestate estate is to be divided under these laws is referred to as heirship determination.

Among the things that can make heirship determinations complicated is that there are multiple different heirship determination methods here in Texas. The three main such methods are: affidavits of heirship, small estate affidavits and judicial determinations of heirship. Which type of heirship determination methods can be used in connection to a given intestate estate depends on what sorts of assets are in the estate and how big the estate is.

Thus, questions regarding what heirship determination methods should be used are among the questions a family may have when they have a loved one who died intestate. Our firm can help Texas families who have questions about heirship determinations or other probate matters. 

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