Probate is a court-supervised process that is typically required to distribute assets after someone passes away. However, in some cases, probate may not be necessary. Here are some situations in which probate may not be necessary in Texas:
If the estate is valued at less than $75,000, probate may not be necessary in Texas. In this case, the beneficiaries can use a small estate affidavit to transfer the assets to themselves. This is a simpler and less expensive alternative to probate.
If the decedent owned assets in joint tenancy with survivorship rights with another person, the assets will automatically pass to the surviving joint tenant. This means that probate may not be necessary for those assets.
Payable on Death Accounts
If the decedent had a bank account or other financial account with a payable on death (POD) designation, the account will pass to the named beneficiary without having to go through probate.
Transfer on Death Deeds
In Texas, real estate can be transferred without going through probate by using a transfer on death (TOD) deed. This allows the property to pass to the named beneficiary without having to go through probate.
If the decedent created a living trust and transferred assets to the trust, those assets will not have to go through probate. Instead, they will be distributed according to the terms of the trust.
Community Property with Right of Survivorship
In Texas, married couples can own property as community property with right of survivorship. This means that when one spouse passes away, the property automatically passes to the surviving spouse without having to go through probate.
Probate can be a time-consuming and expensive process. However, in Texas, there are several situations in which probate may not be necessary. If you are the executor of an estate, it is important to consult with an experienced probate attorney to determine whether probate is necessary and to ensure that the estate is distributed according to the law. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process.
We have helped hundreds of people get their estate plan in order; we can help you too! Call our office at 832.408.0505 and book your Legal Strategy Session today!