Do I need my children’s signature to sell or refinance house that is in mine and my deceased husband’s names, if he died without a Will?

UPDATED: Aug 6, 2011

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Do I need my children’s signature to sell or refinance house that is in mine and my deceased husband’s names, if he died without a Will?

I live in TX and my husband died without a Will. Our house is in both our names. If I sell or refinance the house, do I need my children’s signatures? Someone told me when one dies without a Will, 1/3 goes to wife, 2/3 to children. They told me I can’t do anything with the house without their consent. They are 22, 19 and 11.

Asked on August 6, 2011 Texas


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your husband.

The rules of intestate succession determine inheritance when a person dies without a Will.  Intestate means dying without a Will.  Under intestate succession, the entire estate goes to the surviving spouse.  So, you don't need your childrens' signatures.  If there had not been a surviving spouse, the estate would have been divided equally among your three children.

As the surviving spouse, you have inherited your husband's entire estate and can make decisions about the estate which includes the house, without consulting your children.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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