What Actually Happens During The Probate Process In Texas?
In Texas, the probate process begins with a meeting with an attorney who will ensure that the will is valid and that two witnesses and a notary have signed it. Next, the application, the will, and death certificate will be delivered to the court. If there is no will, then the court will post a notification of the application at the courthouse. After 10 days, there will be a very short meeting with a judge who will grant powers to an executor or administrator. Assuming there are no contested issues, the court-appointed administrator or their attorney will deal with all aspects of the estate, including inventory of the assets, drafting of deeds, and communications with the local department of motor vehicles if necessary.
In the absence of a will, the process of probate usually takes longer and will be more costly. The court will have to appoint another attorney to provide an independent report on the decedent. The length of time this will take will depend on the ad litem assigned to the case; it could take a couple of weeks or a couple of months. Without a will, the state will decide who receives the decedent’s assets and the court will be heavily involved throughout the process. For example, if there is a house that a family member wants to sell, they will have to obtain permission from the court. There are so many reasons it’s important to have a will—even if a person does not have any assets.
Can Someone Realistically Try To Navigate The Probate Process On Their Own In Texas?
Estates that consist of less than $75,000 and no more than one homestead can potentially be handled without an attorney, but it’s generally not recommended. There are several issues that can arise, particularly with all of the complicated paperwork that’s involved.
What Is The Typical Outcome Once The Probate Process Is Complete In Texas?
Upon the completion of the probate process in Texas, the assets, debts, sales or transfers of property, and all other aspects of the estate should be finished. One of the biggest issues that can arise is the presence of claims, which would preclude the administrator or executor from distributing the funds.
The executor can choose not to distribute the funds for a period of time if they are concerned that an issue may arise in the future; if an issue does arise and the funds have already been disbursed, then it would be difficult to get those funds back, especially if they were used by a family member to pay a mortgage.
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