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Answering Your Probate Questions

At Kolb & Murray, P.C., we have proudly served as a legal resource for individuals and families in Seguin for over 20 years. Thousands of clients have relied on us to guide them through Texas’ probate process, lessening their stress during a difficult time.

If you have recently lost a loved one and need to probate an estate, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by this process. We have compiled a list of frequently asked probate questions because we want to reduce your anxiety. Please read our answers below.

What is probate?

During probate, the will is reviewed to determine that it is valid. If it is valid, then the person assigned to carry out the terms of the will is required to follow steps to administer the estate. “Estate” refers to the property, assets and debt of the deceased.

What happens during probate?

There are many steps that must take place before property and assets can be transferred to heirs. They include paying the bills associated with the estate, notifying creditors of the death and gathering assets and legal documents associated with the property. This list is not exhaustive. Working with an attorney can help you complete this process as efficiently as possible.

What happens if my loved one has died without leaving a will?

In legal terms, dying without leaving a will is known as “intestate.” If your loved one died intestate, your loved one’s possessions and debt need to be handled through intestacy. This is a legal process in which Texas law, not the wishes of the deceased, determines how property and assets are distributed. Many people fear that the state will take their loved one’s estate. This is not true. However, what you may be entitled to receive will depend on intestacy guidelines and not on promises that your loved one made before his or her passing.

How long do I have to probate a will?

In most cases, the will must be probated within four years of the passing of the deceased. If you miss this deadline, the state will follow the intestacy process, which may limit the assets or property that you receive.

If my loved one left a handwritten will, is this valid?

The court will approve a handwritten, or holographic, will if your loved one wrote it entirely in his or her hand and signed it.

Do You Have More Questions? Get Answers Here.

Schedule a private appointment with a skilled probate attorney to learn more about this process. You can reach our firm by calling 830-386-4801 or completing our online form. We look forward to hearing from you.