What is an Affidavit of Heirship

An affidavit of heirship is a legal document that can be used when someone dies without a will and their estate consists primarily of real property titled in their name. The affidavit is used to identify the heirs to the property.

The affidavit is filed with deed records in the county where the decedent’s real property is located. It does not transfer title to real property. Instead, it is evidence concerning the property.

Legally, the affidavit of heirship creates a clean chain of title transfer to the deceased’s heirs.

An affidavit of heirship should be signed by two disinterested witnesses. To qualify as a disinterested witness, the person must be knowledgeable about the deceased and their family history but cannot benefit financially from the estate.

Who can witness an affidavit of heirship?

The witnesses should not be an heir, related to the deceased, or have any interest in the estate. In Texas, they must swear, under penalty of perjury, to these conditions:

  • They knew the decedent
  • The decedent did not owe any debts
  • The true identity of the family members and their heirs
  • The person died at a specific place on a specific date
  • The witness will not gain financially from the estate

Ideally, a witness will have known the deceased for 20 to 30 years and know specific details about the spouse and children. Their signatures on the affidavit will carry substantially more weight than a recent or short-term casual acquaintance.

Let Cities Real Estate Help

At Cities Real Estate, we go above and beyond for buyers we represent.

If an affidavit of heirship is involved in the purchase of a property, our agency will pay the buyer’s fees to file an affidavit of heirship. We’ll also identify and locate potential witnesses to sign the affidavit if necessary.

For more information, contact Cities Real Estate Broker/Owner David Pannell at (817) 797-9047. David is a real estate professional you can trust. He’s been helping families with all types of property sales for over 20 years in DFW and has also served in the United States Marine Corps and as a City of Arlington police officer.


Nothing in this article should be considered legal advice. It is solely for informational purposes. Nor does it substitute for consultation with a competent probate attorney.

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Information is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS or NTREIS. The information being provided is for the consumer's personal, non-commercial use, and may not be reproduced, redistributed or used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Cities Real Estate (Home Team) are marked with the NTREIS IDX logo and information about them includes the name of the listing brokerage.

NTREIS data last updated March 28, 2023.

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