What Is An Heirs’ Property Partition

In Texas, Heirs’ property partition is different from other land partitions. In the video, Land Partition Attorney Philip Hundl talks about the differences and how they might affect you. If you’re involved in a land dispute with co-owners, you can get an appointment with Philip by calling 800-266-4870. Appointments can be in person, online or by phone, and Philip helps landowners all over Texas.

What Is An Heirs’ Property Partition

What Is an Heirs’ Property Partition in Texas?

Hi, I’m Philip Hundl, and I’m an attorney. My law practice here in Texas focuses on representing landowners in facing condemnation proceedings and also land partitions. We’ve seen an uptick in land partitions, so I’m doing several videos on land partitions. So, hopefully this will be helpful to those of you who are facing partition matter, be it with your family, or non-family co-owners.

Heirs’ Property Partition Is Relatively New in Texas

What I want to touch on today is how partition is different with family co-owners. In Texas, the law that applies to partitions is Chapter 23, and it’s always been the chapter governing land partitions. Then several years ago, the legislature passed a Uniform Partition of Heirs’ Property Act, and that’s Chapter 23A.

What’s Different About Heirs” Property Partition?

It’s a whole different proceeding. I always say it’s a partition, plus there are some additional steps when you’re dealing with heirs’ property. Let’s start by talking about what is heirs’ property.

First, heirs’ property partition only applies if there’s no agreement in any record, binding on all co-tenants, that governs the partition of the property. What does that mean? That means that years before, there could be some agreement in either a deed or a will that governs how this land will be divided. If that’s the case, then Chapter 23A doesn’t apply.

Chapter 23A Could Apply If …

But let’s just say there is no agreement in the record. One or more of the co-tenants acquired the title, the interest that they own, from a relative, whether living or deceased. So, if one of the co-tenants received the property interest from a relative, and then any of the other factors apply.

And this is where it’s always called the 20% rule. Twenty percent or more of the interests are held by co-tenants who are relatives. So, think about if 20% of the property is owned by folks that are relatives.

When you think about relatives, sometimes you’ll just think about cousins or siblings, but a relative also means an ascendent or descendant. We don’t hear the word ascendant much, but your ascendants would be your parents or grandparents. Someone’s descendants are, obviously, someone’s children. Relatives include individuals otherwise related to another individual by blood, marriage, adoption, or law of this state other than this chapter.

You might think that if the other co-tenant was adopted, that doesn’t really count. And it does count. So someone who is adopted, for all intents and purposes in Texas under the law, is a relative.

Determining Whether Chapter 23 or Chapter 23A Applies Is a First Step

So, keep that in mind. First step, always when you’re having to prepare a petition for partition, is to determine whether it will fall under Chapter 23, non-heirs’ property, or under Heirs’ Property, Chapter 23A. Okay?

So good luck. If you’re filing a petition for partition, please remember to determine if Chapter 23 or Chapter 23A applies. Is it heirs’ property or non-heirs’ property? Good luck.

Get the Help You Need to Protect Your Interests

Whether you’re involved in an heirs’ property partition or a non-heirs partition, it’s a complex process. You need the help of an experienced Texas land partition attorney to protect your interests at each step. Call 800-266-4870 for an appointment with Philip Hundl. Appointments can be in person, online or by phone and Philip helps landowners all over Texas.

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