Texas probate law requires that all of the estate's assets be collected and that the deceased person's remaining debts be repaid with those assets. Only after all debts have been paid can the estate assets be distributed according to a will or, if there is no will, in accordance with Texas intestate succession laws. When all debts and taxes have been paid, the assets remaining in the estate will be distributed in accordance with the provisions of the will. When there is no will, the property will be distributed in accordance with the provisions of Texas law.
Texas law requires that assets be distributed to the closest family members, if any. If a person is married or has children, the assets will be distributed between the spouse and the children. If you are not married and have no children, the assets will be distributed to other close relatives, such as parents and siblings. To begin the process, someone files the will and a request to legalize the will as a document of title with the probate court.
If the court decides that there is no need for estate administration, it admits the will in the estate as an attachment, or proof, of title to the estate of the estate. Essentially, the will serves as the document that transfers the assets to the persons or entities named in the will to inherit them. Before describing the steps of how to legalize a will in Texas, it is important to understand the distinction between the different types of probate. The request for the legalization of a will must be filed within four years of the decedent's death.
However, once the probate process has begun, there is no deadline for completing an estate in Texas. If an estate is not completed within 15 months, the executor or administrator can be ordered, in most cases, to provide an accounting of all assets, debts and expenses of the estate. The executor then has 60 days to file the accounts. If they don't, the court can force the executor to file the accounts.
Regardless of the type of probate you are dealing with, an estate attorney can ease the burden of your duties as an administrator or executor. However, if there is no Living Trust, or if the assets remaining outside the Trust exceed the Texas small inheritance threshold, the probate court will be in your future. This is further complicated because each Texas court has its own set of probate procedures and ratings. If the deceased, known as the deceased, dies with a draft will, the executor or personal representative in the will generally must request the legalization of a will.
After filing the probate request, there will be a two-week waiting period before the hearing is scheduled. Children, surviving spouse, sibling
(ren) must agree and designate someone to serve the estate. The trustee will act in the same capacity as a designated executor and is responsible for performing the same probate duties, including notifying creditors, filing an inventory report to the county clerk, and liquidating the estate. If the will cannot be validated or the deceased did not have a will, the probate court will oversee the distribution of assets in accordance with state law.
Probate filed in the wrong court is likely to be dismissed even after going through all the steps. Some older resources may refer to the Probate Code, but that information will now be found in the Probate Code. If the person dies with a will, the probate court must certify the validity of the will by confirming that it meets the enforcement requirements and that it has not been revoked or replaced by a more recent will. However, the need for a dependent administrator to write reports and seek consistent court approval increases the costs of estate administration, a lot.
Texas probate law is very specific about the statute of limitations that stipulate the time limits for proving a will. For starters, certain courts will not allow people other than lawyers to file applications to legalize a will or estate, nor will they allow people other than lawyers to represent an estate in court. Succession 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 his or her estate. With more than 20 years of legal experience, Keith Morris has dedicated his efforts to honing his skills in estate, trust and probate planning and litigation.