No Probate Case Found

6 Replies

Ok so an uber driver dug up a pretty nice lead for me - a vacant house in Houston.  

Should be a probate deal, as the owner passed in December 2017.  His wife passed several years prior to that.

However I see no probate documentation at all on the county clerk website - I do see everything for when his wife passed.

Interesting, almost exactly one year to the day before he passed, he submitted an affidavit to revoke his will. 

Trying to track down his kids - you would think by now, almost two years later, that there would be a probate case open.  But without a will, I am wondering now what this process will look like.  I guess the state will determine who will inherit the property.  I wonder, could there be a probate case opened in another state, if the kids live elsewhere?  Or would it have to happen here in Texas, as this is where the property/estate is located?

In Texas I believe the state will find some way to award the estate to a relative or somebody, even if nobody claims it.  The state won't keep the property, as I understand.

@Mark Sewell

Try doing some type of Freedom of Information Act ( or whatever they refer to it in your state as - here it's called Opra) to look at the paperwork submitted for revoking the will. Might be some contact information on there or maybe even a copy of the old will.

I think I found one of the kids. No contact made, just yet, so I don't know anything new at this point.

Could an heir in another state open probate there, in that state? I would think it would have to be done here in Texas, where the decedent lived.

Originally posted by @Mark Sewell :

Ok so an uber driver dug up a pretty nice lead for me - a vacant house in Houston.  

Should be a probate deal, as the owner passed in December 2017.  His wife passed several years prior to that.

However I see no probate documentation at all on the county clerk website - I do see everything for when his wife passed.

Interesting, almost exactly one year to the day before he passed, he submitted an affidavit to revoke his will. 

Trying to track down his kids - you would think by now, almost two years later, that there would be a probate case open.  But without a will, I am wondering now what this process will look like.  I guess the state will determine who will inherit the property.  I wonder, could there be a probate case opened in another state, if the kids live elsewhere?  Or would it have to happen here in Texas, as this is where the property/estate is located?

In Texas I believe the state will find some way to award the estate to a relative or somebody, even if nobody claims it.  The state won't keep the property, as I understand.

It's possible that the heirs dpn't know to open probate and they just believe that they own it now because they were told they would when the folks passed. So, they haven't done anything. It's also possible that there are no heirs (however unlikely)

Have a title company pull a title report. (Not title insurance, just a title report) Also, look to see who is paying the property taxes. Also, ask the neighbors. Hire a skip tracer.

 Probate is opened in the state the property is in.

Probate is not mandatory, just highly recommended.  Skip trace heirs, submit offer, sign contract, open title.  Let underwriter tell you if affidavits of heirship or probate necessary.

Hello @Mark Sewell   in regard to what might happen if nobody claims the property, I'm pretty sure it will go to property tax foreclosure.   One of your fellow Texacans is dealing with a similar issue in this post, which might be worth checking out.

https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/48/topics/778864-abandoned-property-deceased-owner-what-is-next-new-investor?highlight_post=4577881&page=1#p4577881

   


The property tax is not being paid.  And I think Mike is probably right - the heirs either don't know or don't care about what needs to be done in this case.

They are two years behind and I am showing there is a tax suit filed.  They will be 3 years behind in a month from now.

There is an heir and I think two.  One I located out of state, left a voice mail but haven't heard back from them.  So I really don't know what is going on with this.  I will start mailing out some letters now that I think I know where one of them is at.