PROBATE OVERVIEW

What is probate?

Probate, or estate administration, is the broad term that is used for variety of procedures to gather a decedent’s assets, pay their debts/creditors and transfer property to their beneficiaries or heirs.

Since Texas recognizes several forms of Probate, or estate administration, the answer to the question to what it entails, how long it takes and how much it costs is almost entirely dependent on facts and circumstances unique to each case. The single biggest factor in deciding which type of probate to pursue is whether the Decedent left a will.


PROBATE WITH A WILL

What is probate?

Probate, or estate administration, is the broad term that is used for a variety of procedures to gather a decedent’s assets, pay their debts/creditors and transfer property to their beneficiaries or heirs.

How do you probate a will?
For a Will or Last Testament to have any legal effect, it must be probated in Probate Court to prove its validity, and that it was not revoked. The probate procedure starts with filing the original will and an application with the court, asking the court to admit the will to probate.

Who can start probate of a will?
The application may be made by the executor named in the will or by any heir, devisee, spouse, creditor, or any other persons having a property right in, or claim against, the estate.

How long do you have to probate a will in Texas?
A will should be submitted for probate within four years after the death of the person making the will. A will can be probated after four years, however, the person bringing the will must explain why he or she did not offering the will in a timely manner so that they will not be deemed to be in default.

Must the executor use the decedent's attorney that drafted the will?
No, there is no requirement that the attorney who drafted the will be the attorney who probates the will.

The executor is free to hire the attorney of his or her choice. If the drafting attorney still has possession of the original will and refuses to release it to the executor, Law Offices of GP Schoemakers, PLLC can file a motion with the probate court compelling the drafting attorney to surrender the will to the court.

PROBATE WITHOUT A WILL

Probate, or estate administration, is the broad term that is used for a variety of procedures Hyperlink to gather a decedent’s assets, pay their debts/creditors and transfer property to their beneficiaries or heirs.

Who can initiate probate proceedings?
The application may be made by the executor named in the will or by any heir, devisee, spouse, creditor, or any other persons having a property right in, or claim against, the estate.

What happens when a person dies without a will?
If there is no will, someone is said to have died “intestate”. Texas has default inheritance rules in place for such an occurrence. See Texas Estates Code Chapter 201.

Contact us today to learn more about the probate process in your situation. We aim to make it easy for you to reach out for an initial consultation with our probate lawyer to consider your probate options.

NOTE: Under Texas law, people applying for letters testamentary, letters of administration, determinations of heirship, and guardianships of the person or estate must be represented by a licensed attorney. Only licensed attorneys may represent someone else’s interests. Self-represented applicants may proceed in court only if they are really representing themselves alone.