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Estate Planning


Understanding Survivorship Agreements in Texas Estates Code 112.051: Essential Insights for Protecting Real Estate Ownership

Understanding Survivorship Agreements in Texas Estates Code 112.051: Essential Insights for Protecting Real Estate Ownership


Troy Moore

June 22, 2023

August 25, 2023

Understanding Survivorship Agreements in Texas Estates Code 112.051: Essential Insights for Protecting Real Estate Ownership


In Texas, real estate ownership can be safeguarded through the utilization of survivorship agreements as outlined in Estates Code 112.051. By comprehending the key provisions and implications of these agreements, property owners can effectively protect their interests and ensure seamless transfer of property upon death. Married couples are typical people who want this Agreement in Texas, due to community property laws.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of survivorship agreements in Texas, emphasizing their significance in maintaining real estate ownership and guiding readers through essential insights for safeguarding their assets.

1. What are Survivorship Agreements?

1.1 Definition and Purpose

A legal survivorship agreement, as defined in Texas Estates Code 112.051, is a legally binding document that establishes the right of survivorship among co-owners of real estate. This agreement allows property owners to ensure that their ownership interest in the property automatically transfers to the surviving co-owner(s) upon their death, without the need for probate proceedings.

1.2 Legally Binding Nature

These agreements, are, by their very nature, legally binding on both parties and the benefits inure to any heirs, assign, and beneficiaries.

1.3 Distinctions from Other Estate Planning Instruments

This is different from a Will in that it takes effect automatically upon death, and requires no probate proceedings.

2. Understanding Texas Estates Code 112.051

2.1 Overview of Estates Code 112.051

112.051 allows for the creation of the Survivorhsip Agreements, which historically was not allowed.

2.2 Requirements for Valid Survivorship Agreements

The agreement must be in writing, have clear language about survivorship, and the co-owners must have a joint interest in the property.

2.3 Role of Beneficiaries and Co-Owners

Beneficiaries do not need to sign but co-owners do need to sign the new Deed.

2.4 Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship vs. Tenancy in Common

Texas does not recognize a Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship, but you can create one by Agreement now under our Texas Estates Code Sec. 112.051. :)

3. Benefits and Implications of Survivorship Agreements

3.1 Avoiding Probate

As to any real estate transferred through the Survivorship Agreement, probate is not required (Yay!).

3.2 Seamless Transfer of Property
3.3 Protection Against Creditor Claims

By having the property transfer immediately upon death, you get to avoid the Administration of the Estate in Probate Court, which allows creditors to come forward and make claims against the Estate.

3.4 Tax Considerations

Tax considerations are irrelevant for this article.

3.5 Maintaining Continuity in Property Ownership

Continuous ownership of the property is required after the Survivorship Agreement is made, otherwise it may become void by subsequent activity.

4. Drafting an Effective Survivorship Agreement

4.1 Consulting an Attorney

The last thing you want to hear after someone has died is that there is a problem with your homemade legal documents. I have personally seen the despair on people's faces as I tell them that their homemade documents do not accomplish the legal thing they thought they did. It is very sad. Consulting an attorney to draw up your survivorship agreement is vital to not having problems down the road with the title company when you try to sell the house.

4.2 Essential Elements and Considerations

The Survivorship Agreement has to be in writing and must be clear of the intention to create the Survivorship Agreement.

5. Common FAQs about Survivorship Agreements

5.1 Can Survivorship Agreements be Revoked?

Yes it can be revoked but it needs to be done by all original creators of the Survivorship Agreement.

5.2 Can Survivorship Agreements be Contested?

Yes they can be contested. It would be the standard lawsuit contesting the mental state of the person making the Survivorship Agreement.

5.3 What Happens if a Co-Owner Passes Away Without a Survivorship Agreement?

Then title is held in the deceased spouse's individual name, and thus, probate court is necessary to transfer title to the house and all other assets.

5.4 Can Survivorship Agreements be Used for Commercial Properties?

Yes co-owners can agree to this also.

6. Legal Assistance and Professional Guidance

6.1 Importance of Consulting a Real Estate Attorney

Anytime you are undertaking matters involving real estate, you should consult an attorney.


Understanding survivorship agreements in Texas Estates Code 112.051 is vital for individuals seeking to protect their real estate ownership and facilitate smooth asset transfer upon death. By grasping the legal requirements, benefits, and implications associated with these agreements, property owners can make informed decisions and ensure their assets are safeguarded for future generations. Remember to consult a qualified Texas real estate attorney for personalized guidance and assistance in drafting an effective survivorship agreement that aligns with your unique circumstances and goals.

Note: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended to consult with a licensed attorney for professional assistance pertaining to your specific situation.

Understanding Survivorship Agreements in Texas Estates Code 112.051: Essential Insights for Protecting Real Estate Ownership

June 22, 2023

August 25, 2023

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