What To Do When Someone Dies Without A Will

Who May File an Application to Determine Heirship in Texas?

by Rania Combs

When an individual dies without a Will, a procedure called a Determination of Heirship proceeding can be filed establish the deceased individual’s rightful heirs.

An application to determine heirship may be filed by any of the following people:

  1. The “qualified personal representative of the estate” in cases where there has been no administration of an estate, or a will was probated but there was real or personal property that was omitted from the will or the administration of the estate.
  2. A secured creditor
  3. The owner of “the whole or part” of the decedent’s real and personal property, such as an heir
  4. The guardian of the estate of a ward

An application to determine heirship is filed in the court with probate jurisdiction in the county where the decedent resided at the time of his death.

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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  1. LaChandra Goynes

    December 11, 2019 at 6:01pm

    Is an attorney necessary to file the determination of heirship? What if only one of the heirs wants to deal with any of the affairs and the others want no part of it at all?

    1. Rania Combs

      February 1, 2020 at 8:53pm

      Most courts in Texas require an executor to be represented by an attorney in a probate matter. Check with the probate court for their pro-se policy. For more information read: Do I Need an Attorney to Probate a Will in Texas?