Probate in Texas can take a long time if you do not have the right help. Each county has its qualifications, and if you do not start in the proper jurisdiction, the court might reject your filing.
The probate process has eight definitive steps. See the list below to get a better idea of what to expect.
1. File for probate
File an application for probate in the deceased’s county of residence.
2. Waiting period
After posting, a mandatory two weeks of posting at the courthouse follows. This gives anyone who wants to contest the property division a chance to appeal.
3. Validation and appointments
Next, a judge legally recognizes the death of the decedent. If no executor exists, they appoint an administrator. The judge also determines if there is a valid will.
4. Appraisal of assets
An appraisal of the decedent’s assets is next. If the deceased owned assets in another county, then according to Texas state code, the courts appoint at maximum three “disinterested persons” to appraise the out-of-county property.
5. Notification of heirship
The heirs and beneficiaries of the estate will receive a notification from the executor. If no will exist, the court determines who the proper heirs are.
6. Resolution of disputes
Any ongoing disputes or contests must face resolution before the estate proceedings can complete.
7. Repayment of debts
Creditors of the decedent must also receive a notification. The executor or administrator contacts the creditors and allows them to file for payment from the estate’s assets.
8. Distribution of property
Once debtors receive their payments and the heirs resolve any issues, the executor can finally distribute the assets.
If you worry about your claim to an estate or are not sure about your estate plan, consult with an attorney about your options. If an estate plan is not in place, the probate process can last for over a year.