Probate in Texas
Probate in Texas involves the legal process of administering and distributing a deceased person’s estate. The following are the general steps involved in probate in Texas:
- Determine if probate is necessary: Not all estates require probate. If the deceased person had a valid will, probate is typically necessary. However, if the assets are held in a trust or if the estate qualifies for a small estate affidavit or an alternative probate procedure, probate may not be required.
- File an application: The first step in the probate process is filing an application with the probate court in the county where the deceased person resided. The application is typically filed by the executor named in the will or by an interested party if there is no will.
- Provide notice to interested parties: Once the application is filed, notice of the probate proceedings must be given to all interested parties, including beneficiaries named in the will, heirs-at-law, and creditors. This typically involves publishing a notice in a local newspaper and sending written notices to known interested parties.
- Appointment of executor or administrator: After the notice period has passed, the court will hold a hearing to appoint an executor (if named in the will) or an administrator (if there is no will or no executor is named). The appointed person will have the legal authority to act on behalf of the estate.
- Inventory and appraisal: The executor or administrator is responsible for identifying and gathering all of the deceased person’s assets, preparing an inventory of the assets, and obtaining appraisals where necessary. This information is filed with the court.
- Pay debts and taxes: The executor or administrator must identify and notify creditors of the deceased person’s death. They are responsible for paying valid debts, taxes, and any expenses related to the estate administration.
- Distribution of assets: Once all debts, taxes, and expenses have been paid, the remaining assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will or the Texas intestacy laws if there is no will.
- Final accounting and closing the estate: The executor or administrator is required to prepare a final accounting, which details all of the financial transactions of the estate. This accounting is filed with the court for approval. Once approved, the court will issue an order closing the estate.
It’s important to note that the probate process can vary depending on the complexity of the estate and the specific circumstances. This is why it’s important to call Rashelle Fetty at (214) 546-5746 and schedule your Tarrant County Probate Attorney consultation, today!