Understanding the Probate Process in Texas

The probate process is a legal process that takes place after someone passes away. It begins when someone submits the deceased's original will to the court. The court will then try to validate the will and appoint someone to manage the estate and oversee the probate process. In Texas, the easiest probate process is part of independent administration procedures. In this situation, the court appoints an Administrator who submits an inventory of all assets and a list of individuals who owe money to the estate.

After filing inventory, estate management continues without probate judge approval. More than 80 percent of tested properties in Texas are independently managed. Texas law allows the person drafting a will to include a provision in the will for independent administration of estate after death. The language of this provision is found in the Texas Probate Code. This law also explains how to request independent administration in different types of cases.

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. To begin the process, you will need to file a request for probate in a Texas probate court. You usually have four years from the date of death to the filing of a request for probate. Legalization is the legal process that takes place after someone dies.

If the decedent has a legal will, the probate court will verify the document and ensure that the decedent's wishes are met. Without a last will and testament, the state of Texas controls the distribution of assets by law in the intestate succession. Using the services of an experienced probate attorney can help your family move smoothly through probate in the weeks and months following the death of your loved one. It's important to work with a probate lawyer with experience in Texas property law. Even though the statute of limitations may have expired, individuals can request a Determination of Inheritance or that the will be admitted as a Consumment of Title, allowing the Texas probate court to assess which successors should receive distributions and how much.

The Probate Code also requires you to have witnesses if there is no will; people such as close friends who knew the family but do not inherit anything. You can also expect the probate judge to verify that the decedent had a valid will or did not exist, and ultimately appoint an administrator or verify the person named executor. However, if there is no provision for independent administration in a will, then dependent administration may be necessary. This means that an executor must seek approval from a probate judge for every step taken during estate management. This increases costs significantly. If the will says nothing about this issue, then executors can be compensated according to a legal formula with prior approval from a probate court.

This court must determine that they have properly cared for and managed an estate. Succession in Texas is noticeably simpler than in many other states, thanks to something called independent estate management. The simple purpose of succession is to transfer assets from one person's name to another's after they pass away. Many people who challenge a will in Texas never go to court because mediation is suggested as a course of action to resolve conflicts with Texas legalization. Before you apply, it's best to consult with your county clerk in any county where you think your will should be processed. However, formal probate procedures in Texas may vary in terms of oversight provided by a probate court. If an executor is suspected of breaching fiduciary duty, one of your first options is to file an application with a probate court to obtain motions, applications or other pleadings filed with respect to an estate.

Texas probate law is very specific about statute of limitations that stipulate time limits for proving a will. In addition, it can be particularly difficult if there are several beneficiaries or decisions must be made regarding type of will to file. Under Texas law, wills can be challenged at any time after they are offered for legalization and up to two years after they are admitted for probate. In relatively simple cases, it takes between six months and one year for probate process to complete. Some assets may pass without need for succession because they are not part of testamentary inheritance.

Kathleen Huelsman
Kathleen Huelsman

Infuriatingly humble social media maven. Amateur internet expert. Award-winning music junkie. Extreme problem solver. Extreme twitter buff.

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