Though you may know you have the responsibility of opening the probate proceedings for your recently deceased loved one's estate, you may have many questions about the process. If so, you do not have to feel unsuited for the position of executor. Most people who take on this role do not have a full understanding of probate proceedings or their exact duties.
If you have concerns over completing the probate process correctly, you may want to simply take the process one step at a time. For instance, before the proceedings can get underway, you need to open probate with the appropriate court. However, you cannot open probate for a specific estate just anywhere.
Residency and asset location
When it comes to opening probate at the correct location, you may need to consider two factors: where your loved one lived and the location of his or her assets. Typically, you must open probate in the appropriate county, and if your loved one lived and held all of his or her assets in the same county, you will open probate proceedings in that county.
The situation can become more complicated when the person owned assets outside of his or her county of residence. For instance, it is not unusual for individuals to live in one state but have a vacation home in another state. If you face this type of scenario, you may have a more difficult time understanding the right place to open probate. In fact, you may need to consult with a legal professional about the correct procedure for such circumstances.
If your loved one lived in Texas but owed real estate or other immovable, tangible assets outside of the state, the possibility exists that you would need to open probate in both states. Probate opened outside the decedent's state of residency is known as ancillary probate. Having to carry out such actions may make your job as executor more difficult, but it may be an unavoidable situation.
Luckily, you do not have to try to figure out every nuance of probate on your own. You can enlist the help of an attorney experienced in these legal proceedings who could help you assess your loved one's estate, determine where to open probate proceedings, and assist you in any steps for ancillary probate that may need to occur.