An estate may be exempt from the inheritance legalization process under certain circumstances. Specific circumstances exempt a Texas estate from formal inheritance legalization. However, that doesn't mean that the heirs automatically receive the deceased's assets. They must go through a legal process to obtain the assets of the inheritance.
Many assets, such as bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts and life insurance, can be set up to go to the margin of succession by designating payers in the event of death (POD) or beneficiaries. There may be other types of accounts that you can add a beneficiary designation to, so it's a good idea to check them out with someone with legal experience in estate planning. When you die, your share in the property is transferred to your TOD beneficiary without going through a probate estate. Not legalizing a will may be understandable because of fear of costs and family complications, but some steps may need to be taken to resolve your loved one's estate.
The simple purpose of testamentary legalization is to transfer assets from the name of a deceased person to the name of the deceased person to the name of a living person. If the only alternative is a succession action of some kind, less expensive probate legalization may be able to be used as ammunition for property. However, if a third party refuses to comply with the affidavit, a testamentary legalization may be necessary to transfer the assets. The legalization of inheritance is the process by which a court legally recognizes the death of a person and authorizes the administration, that is, the administration and distribution of their assets.
Fortunately, more often than not, the courts are quite liberal in accepting the excuse that the surviving spouse was misinformed about the need to legalize the succession. The best time to determine if a succession is necessary is when the family has had time to process the loss of the loved one and is in good spirits to proceed to liquidate the inheritance. Sometimes, the heir does not agree to sign an affidavit or the estate is not appropriate to use the affidavit. To determine the heirs to an estate, you must first determine if the deceased's assets are separate or community property; if the deceased was married or single; if the deceased had children and, if so, if those children were also children of the deceased's spouse.
Some assets can completely prevent the legalization of estates, even if the heirs have to wait for a probate judge to review and validate the will. If more than 4 years have passed, the applicant for the succession must convince the court that he had good reasons for not submitting the will within that time limit. To use this simpler inheritance procedure, there should be no outstanding inheritance debts other than liens on real estate. If the judge determines that the document meets the requirements of a valid will, he will issue an order admitting the will to the legalization of estates.