Affidavit of Heirship

What if I didn’t probate my parent’s estate? What do I do now?

Sometimes when a son or daughter tries to sell the home of a parent who has passed away, he or she discovers that the home cannot be sold because the parent’s name is still on the title to the property. A realtor may tell them that they need to probate to get the names off the title; however, often when the son or daughter talks to me about probating their parent’s estate, I discover that the
parent died more than three years ago.

Idaho Code §15-3-108 provides that no probate proceeding may be commenced more than three years after the decedent’s death. Since the parent died over 3 years ago, probating the estate is not available. What can be done to get the parent’s name off the title to the property, so it can be sold?
The solution is to prepare and record an affidavit of heirship. Pursuant to Idaho Code §55-816, §15-3-101, §15-3-901 an affidavit is made for the purpose of establishing that any real property in Idaho owned by the parent at the time of his or her death, eventually devolved to the children of the parent. The affidavit is recorded in the county where the property is located. Title companies will accept the affidavit of heirship and issue title insurance, allowing the property to be sold.

When buying property, buyers need certainty that the property has a good title. When a spouse dies, the couple’s house does not automatically pass to the surviving spouse, unless the property is held as “community property with a right of survivorship.” The house does not automatically pass to the persons named in a will. Probate, an affidavit of heirship, or some other legal process is required to
clear the title to the property.

View our “Senior’s Guide to a Well-Planned Future” on our website! Packer Elder Care Law – with you for life!

Tom Packer is an Elder Law Attorney serving all Southeast Idaho. As part of his law practice, Tom offers Life Care Planning to deal with the challenges created by long-term illness, disability and incapacity. If you have a question about a Senior’s legal, financial or healthcare needs, please call us.

August 2022