Probate in Texas

Probate Legal Cases In Texas

After a person passes away, someone close to them must take on the tedious task of dealing with the final expenses, wrapping up bank accounts, and distributing remaining property appropriately.

Probate is the procedure in which a court lawfully acknowledges an individual’s death and oversees the payment of a departed individual’s financial obligations and the circulation of his or her properties. The role of the Texas probate court and all persons employed by the court to facilitate this process is known as probate administration. If the departed (referred to as the “decedent”) passes away with a properly prepared will, the executor in the will typically must apply for probate. 

In Texas, state court rules govern the various timelines that the administrator must follow in probating a will. The basic guideline in Texas is that the executor has four years from the date of death of the testator (the individual who drafted the will) to apply for probate. 

For a simple estate, the entire probate procedure can be completed within 6 months. Nevertheless, expect probate to go on for a year or more if the initial will cannot be admitted or the will is contested. This makes the process more complex. 

Certain properties are not dispersed during probate, however, because they are moved in some other method. These properties are called non-probate assets. These can include life insurance plans, Individual retirement accounts, KEOGHs, pensions, revenue sharing, and 401(k) plans. These properties are moved directly from the company or bank holding them to the recipient who is named in the policy or account documents. 

In the state of Texas, an estate consists of all the decedent’s assets. These may include, (but aren’t restricted to) cash, genuine estate holdings (houses, land, etc.), stocks and bonds, life insurance coverage policies, retirement accounts, vehicles, individual belongings, and legal claims that survive death. 

The chief responsibility of the executor is to inventory and catalog the decedent’s properties; pay financial obligations of the estate; pay taxes of the estate; file lawsuits for claims owed to the estate; and disperse assets from the estate to the recipients as called in the decedent’s Last Will and Testimony. 

The court will often appoint one of the main beneficiaries to act in this capacity. Prior to filing, it’s best to contact the county clerk in the county or counties where the probate is to be filed. An application for probate needs to be filed with the appropriate Texas probate court in the county where the decedent resided, or where assets of the estate are located. After the probate application is filed, the citation must be posted and served on the beneficiaries, and a hearing held to admit the will to probate and appoint the executor.

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