Does an affidavit of heirship have to be filled out before a judge in court or just filled out and signed by a notary?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Does an affidavit of heirship have to be filled out before a judge in court or just filled out and signed by a notary?

My father in law passed away last month. He was not married and left no will.
He has 3 kids my husband being the oldest. He had no physical property other
than a car and some personal belongings. However, he had a small life
insurance policy from work and a small retirement fund. We received the
paperwork about these funds and they are requiring an affidavit of heirship as
he left no beneficiary or will. My husband and his siblings have decided for my
husband to do all the filing and we will split it accordingly. I have been doing
some online research and am just a little unsure about the affidavit of heirship.
Is this something he can fill out and take to a notary? Or does he have to fill it
out and take it to the court in the county he lived in?

Asked on December 17, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  No, the Probate Court does not generally get involved with preparation of or execution of the Affidavit of Heirship.  It may pay for you all to hire an attorney for the specific purpose of drafting same and proceeding to Probate if required.  Good luck.

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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