Heirship Disputes & Heirships

The loss of a loved-one is nearly always a heart-breaking, emotional time. When a loved-one dies intestate – meaning, without a Will – the surviving family members must take action for title to the decedent’s property to pass, all while coping with the stress and strain of grief.

Changing title requires a court proceeding and a Judgment Declaring Heirship. Because an estate is involved you must hire a heirship attorney, and hiring an attorney skilled in the area of heirship law can the burden of the loss. In addition, heirship law can be very complicated, so it is wise to hire an attorney with the knowledge to guide you through the probate process.

When Do you Need an Attorney?

You will want to seek counsel with an attorney, if your interest is not being recognized by the family and it is always advisable to hire an attorney to represent you if there is an heirship dispute of any kind. This area of the law is way too treacherous to attempt to wade through it yourself and valuable property can be affected or lost, if you do not protect them.

The Dallas heirship lawyers at Spencer & Johnson, PLLC, have decades of experience representing clients in even the most complex legal matters. If the deceased left no will, there can be some confusion and disagreement regarding heirship. In Texas, there is a specific probate system that uses statutes to define heirs and the proper distribution of assets. We will work through the court system to determine heirs and the appropriate portion of the estate to which they are entitled.

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Dallas Inheritance Lawyer

The issue can be reduced to one simple fact — if someone dies without a will, the state of Texas will write one for him or her. Statutes determine the order of distribution through surviving spouses, to children and grandchildren. If individuals are unrelated to the deceased, however, it can be a challenge to prove heirship. There are several complex situations that can lead to an heirship dispute, including:

Common law spouses

In Texas, it can be determined that two people are spouses without the benefit of a traditional marriage. If you lived together, had plans to get married and held yourselves out as a married couple, you can assert a claim of marriage to establish your right to inherit from the decedent.

Adoption by estoppel

If a child was essentially raised by the decedent, was treated by the decedent as his or her child and the decedent held this individual out as his or her child, we can file a lawsuit to declare his or her inheritance rights even if no formal adoption took place.

Pretermitted child rights

If a child was born after the date of the will, and he or she was not otherwise provided for by the decedent, it is possible to declare inheritance rights.

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It is important to remember that this legal process follows a strict timeline. You must act quickly to assert your rights. Contact Spencer & Johnson, PLLC for an experienced Dallas attorney who can explain the process and educate you on what must be done if you have missed a deadline.

We are located in Dallas, but we travel throughout Texas to serve our clients. Our business hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and evenings and weekends by appointment. Ask us about our hourly and contingency fees.

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Dallas Probate Attorneys

Spencer & Johnson, PLLC, invites you to contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation regarding your estate and trust matters.

We are located in Dallas, but we travel throughout Texas to serve our clients. Our business hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and evenings and weekends by appointment. Ask us about our hourly and contingency fees.

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For excellent and caring representation at reasonable rates, contact us today.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.
This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.