An Application for Determination of Heirship must be filed to obtain a Judgment Declaring Heirship, which functions as a title document to transfer title to property owned by decedent’s estate to the heirs in their declared percentages. Once the Application is filed the court is statutorily required to appoint an attorney ad litem for unknown heirs to investigate if anyone having an interest in the estate was excluded or forgotten. Proving up the Judgment Declaring Heirship requires a court hearing. Because an estate is involved, an “interested person” must hire a heirship attorney, and it is considered the unauthorized practice of law to fail to do so. Hiring an attorney with experience in heirship law is important because it can be very complicated, but, also, can ease the burden of the loss of a loved one. You must hire an attorney with probate knowledge and experience to guide you through the process to assure all interests are correctly ordered.
When Do you Need an Attorney?
If you are an heir of a decedent and have been omitted from the Application or excluded from the process, you are in an heirship dispute. You must act – by hiring competent counsel – to ensure your interest is recognized by the Court and the family. Without hiring an attorney who knows the intestacy statutes, you could lose valuable property rights. You must be proactive to protect them or they will be lost forever. If a Judgment Declaring Heirship has been signed in an estate you have an interest and you have been excluded, timelines are ticking against you and your interest and you must act fast to correct the mistaken Judgment Declaring Heirship.