Texas has joined several other states by adopting the Uniform Partition of Heirs’ Property Act.  The Act makes title determinations easier and makes fair market value transfers available.

Title Determinations
Clearing title to real estate held by multiple heirs, often spanning two or more generations, can be so time consuming and expensive that the property becomes unmarketable and practically worthless.  Determining title in the probate court can be cost prohibitive, but a district court action under the Act permits the ownership interests to be determined much more efficiently and inexpensively.

Sales Procedure
Property sales under the Act are through a real estate broker after a commercial appraisal has been obtained.  The property can be liquidated at full value and all heirs can receive their share of the funds. If one or more heirs want to retain ownership of the property, they can buy out the other heirs at the appropriate amount of the appraised value.

Conclusion
The Act applies to most partition actions and is mandatory.  It can efficiently clear title to heir properties.  Then, the family can benefit from the property either being sold and the proceeds divided among all heirs or from the property staying in the family in the hands of the heirs wanting to keep it.

Steve Spitzer

Steve Spitzer
Probate Law
Managing Shareholder
sspitzer@rameyflock.com