Is Probate Always Going To Be Necessary In Texas?
Probate isn’t always necessary in Texas. For instance, if it’s just a vehicle which has the decedent’s name on it, then there is a route that we can take to take care of that with the DMV. It’s called an affidavit of heirship. As long as all of the heirs sign off and there isn’t a will, then the affidavit of heirship can be done. If there are no assets that need to be taken care of, that is where proper estate planning came in handy. The main goal of estate planning is to avoid probate. You don’t want to spend $3,000 for probate just to have everything taken care of.
Beneficiary designations on financial accounts is one of the main routes. You can do a transfer on death deed in Texas for property. If it’s just personal property and minimal things in which there’s nothing that has a title that needs to be changed, then probate isn’t necessary.
Why Would Probate Be Needed If There Is A Will In Place?
A will is just a document until the court gives it validity. Nobody can rely on it until the court deems it lawful. The main reason for that is to make sure that somebody doesn’t just make up a will. We don’t want that to happen. We have the court there as the third party to give the power, backing, and reliability to the other parties who have assets to feel comfortable in the release of those assets. That way, there is no ability that someone will come along and take money improperly.
How Much Does An Estate Have To Be Worth To Go Through Probate In Texas?
In Texas, we don’t have any set amount in order to go through probate. There is no sliding scale like there is in Illinois. In Illinois the court fees you pay are on a sliding scale based on the assets of the estate. It all comes down to whether there is something that needs to be taken care of that requires the reliability from the court giving the powers.
There is a small estate affidavit that’s currently set at $75,000. There are talks to increase that amount. Nonetheless, there can’t be any real estate if it’s not homestead to go that route. If there is real estate with homestead, then the people who are inheriting have to also be homesteading there at the same time. It’s just not as reliable. The court recognizes it, but it’s not as reliable as a full will.
How Soon Does A Will Need To Be Probated In Texas?
In Texas, the statute of limitation to probate a will is four years from the date of death or passing of the person. There are methods to do it after that date, but it’s not pretty. It depends on whether the court is even going to entertain a situation in which the original main executor just didn’t do it, and the subsequent people didn’t know that it needed to be done. If you are not intending to go forward, or if there is no need to go forward, you are still supposed to turn the will over to the court.
What Happens If Someone Doesn’t Probate A Will? Why Would They Do That?
People usually don’t probate a will due to costs. If there is nothing that needs to be taken care of, then why incur that cost? That is the main reason why that law requires a will to be delivered to the court regardless of going to probate or not. If something does come up later on, it gives it more validity. If you turned it over to the court quickly, and just didn’t move forward with it, you are clearly not forging a will in the meantime to get something taken care of if something were to come up. If there is nothing that needs to be taken care of, then why go through the expense?
How Do We Know When Probate Needs To Take Place?
When it comes to probate, there is a four-year statute of limitations. It doesn’t matter if you do it within that period of time. The number one thing is if somebody is passing, you need to deal with that first. You don’t need to rush unless there’s some impending reason. If there isn’t a reason, and everything is being taken care of, such as the mortgage is being paid, you don’t need to move forward right away. You can wait months or even a year or two. As long as you get it filed within the four years, it is perfectly fine. If there is something that needs to be taken care of, you can try to do that with an affidavit of heirship and the title company may take it. However, if you want to have that surety of knowing that you are not going to have a problem, then you need to file it in a sufficient timeframe to get the powers from the court before the sale occurs. We can typically do that within a month. It mostly depends on the availability of the court.
For more information on Necessity Of Probate Process In Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 829-6100 today.