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What to expect during probate in Texas

Probate is a necessary process that all families must go through in order to verify the will and legally distribute the assets. A judge needs to confirm that the decedent has died and left a legitimate will behind. When there is no will, the judge will follow Texas’s laws of intestacy.

Waiting period after filing

There is a two-week waiting period after you file an application for probate in Texas. This waiting period isn’t exact. You could have your hearing sooner or later. The county clerk posts a notice at the courthouse for anyone who contests the will to step forward. People can’t contest the will for being unhappy with it. They need to have a legal reason to do so, such as claiming that the will is fraudulent with evidence to back it up.

Validation of the will

The judge will legally recognize the decedent’s death and their will during the hearing. They will also appoint someone to serve as executor. If the will names an executor, then the judge will recognize that person. When the decedent hasn’t specified an executor, then the judge makes this decision.

Cataloging assets

In Texas, the executor has 90 days to report a catalog of the decedent’s estate to the county clerk. They are swearing that this catalog is accurate to the best of their knowledge. The catalog consists of descriptions of the assets and their valuations. If the decedent doesn’t have unpaid debts, you might be able to skip this step by filing an Affidavit In Lieu Of Inventory with the county clerk. If the will stipulates that the executor needs to file the inventory, then you won’t be able to skip this step.

Resolve the debts

You must use the estate to pay off the decedent’s debts before giving any asset to a beneficiary. The law will hold you responsible if you distribute the estate before resolving the decedent’s debts.

Probate can take six months to four years in Texas. It depends on how big the estate is and whether or not there are disputes over the legitimacy of the will.

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