Texas Probate Attorney

probate attorney Tyler Texas

When a Court formally recognizes the decedent’s death and authorizes a qualified person to administer the decedent’s estate, you’ve officially entered the wonderful world of probate.  The “qualified” person is usually called the executor. Having a last will and testament will guarantee the probate process.

In fact, NOT having a last will and testament will also land you in Probate court.  The difference is, during the course intestate succession, that dreaded half-brother Huey (the one who never reports to his parole officer) probably falls somewhere on the consanguinity flowchart, enabling him to scoop up fifty acres of valuable farmland. 

And that’s definitely not how you want things to play out.

The probate process is fairly easy to initiate.  Whether the decedent had a will or not, an Application for Probate needs to be filed – usually by the executor - in a Texas Probate court within four years from the date of death.  If the dearly departed passed away intestate, then any interested party – including creditors, a surviving spouse, or Huey the half-brother may file the Application.  Now we wait two weeks while the county clerk posts a notice at the courthouse that a probate application is pending.  This posting provides notice to those who ostensibly may wish to contest the will or administration.  After the two-week waiting period has expired, Probate law requires a hearing.

When real estate property is part of the decedent’s estate: probate will help insure that heirs take proper title to the land; clarifies chain of title in the county recorder’s office of deed records; prohibits creditors from placing liens on the decedent’s land; and jettisons future problems with the recordation and conveyance of property.

· Remember: dying with a last will and testament allows the Probate court to determine that the presented document was the decedent’s last true and valid will, and formerly appoints the executor to administer the land and estate in its entirety.

· Dying without a last will and testament risks that the land may pass to the undesirable Huey in accordance with the Texas intestacy laws.  During the long, expensive, and time-consuming process, intestate succession now ultimately determines which heirs are entitled to what land.

·  Included in this arduous progression: there’s a better than average chance family members will fight over the assets of the estate, requiring the court to schedule even more time for hearings where disputes will be heard.  Kinda like a family reunion picnic without the potluck.  

Don’t get caught up in unnecessary commotion and turmoil.   Call us to schedule a consultation.

Setterberg Law Office