The purpose of the probate process is to expedite the division of a deceased person’s assets and make it simpler on his or her family. Having said that, at a sensitive time like this, it could all get a bit much to handle for family members and things could go south really quickly.
In the Lone Star State, the probate administration process applies when someone dies leaving a will or when someone dies intestate, i.e., without a will.
It requires that the person’s property is gathered and his or her debts are paid. The assets that remain are then distributed per the person’s wishes listed in the will. If the deceased did not leave a will, property is distributed per Texas intestacy laws.
To kick off the probate process in Texas, one first needs to file an application in a Texas Probate Court. This is followed by a two-week waiting period. During this time, the court will determine if the estate needs administering. It will also ascertain if the deceased’s will is valid.
Subsequently, a hearing is conducted before a probate judge. He or she will preside over matters such as whether the person applying to be the executor of the will is qualified enough to serve that role. It is absolutely critical that an executor is well-informed about his or her responsibilities and obligations. The breach of which could result in litigation.
Furthermore, creditors can file claims to recover payments due to them if the decedent owed them money. The court will also step in to resolve issues between quarreling family members in case disputes ensue over division of assets.
In conclusion, the probate process in Texas can seem extremely daunting for a first-timer. It is best navigated with the help of a proficient attorney who has been there and seen it all before.