The Texas Probate Process, And How We Can Help

After someone has passed away there are many steps involved in handling their belongings. If someone has passed away and left behind a will then the process of completing the will is probate. If you want to skip the probate process, you can plan ahead by creating a Trust or establishing direct payments to beneficiaries for retirement or insurance policies. 

The Texas probate process can be quite different depending on your unique situation. The court will oversee all of the payments for the deceased person’s unpaid debts. The court is interested in ensuring that all debtors and beneficiaries have their best interests in mind. The court will take care of all of the proceedings during the probate process. The court handles distribution for any and all assets left over after the person has passed away. Once all debts are paid, the court will then handle the remaining funds to the surviving beneficiaries. 

Generally speaking, probate in Texas takes 4 years from the date of death. You should also be aware that there are different rules between state and local courts within Texas that affect the process as well. Also, if for any reason the executor of the will fails to file the will with the court for any reason, there are laws of intestacy in Texas that will apply. Meaning there is either less time to complete the process, or worse there is effectively no will left. 

There are a few things, outside of the laws themselves, that can make probate take longer. The “simpler” the probate then the faster it will be completed by the courts. You can possibly complete probate court within 6 months if there are no complications. However, things such as a contested or missing will, a will of $50,000 or more, or other more specific factors can make the process take much longer. Homes are considered to be part of the probate process and cannot be sold or fully transferred until the probate process has been completed. 

The process of probate within Texas can be summarized into a few steps but each of those steps are much more complicated and will require time within each step to complete. 

First, you need to file the appropriate paperwork. You will first need to determine the appropriate jurisdiction in which to file the paperwork which is almost always based on the location where the person lived. 

Next, the county clerk will process a notice to the public that the probate application was filed. This provides others a chance to contest the will or other factors within the estate. After the public has been notified, the judge will ensure that the decedent has left a valid Last Will and Testament. If there is no valid will, the judge then elects someone to be executor instead. 

The executor will then catalog all assets that were left behind and provide the court with their findings. If you’d like to protect the decedent’s privacy you can file an Affidavit in Lieu of Inventory instead. 

The Executor will then need to provide a Notice to Beneficiaries and then Creditors, in that order. Once these parties have been notified any and all Disputes that arise must be dealt with. Last step is Distributing the Assets. The Executor and Beneficiaries will need to work together to ensure that everyone gets what they were directed to receive in the Will. Oftentimes, the Executor needs to sell things at the Beneficiaries behest to make sure that everyone is happy. 
If you’d like some help in streamlining the sale of a home that is involved in the probate process, give us a call. iVestHomes has helped tons of homeowners by purchasing their homes for cash, including homes that have been inherited or homes in the probate process. We’re always happy to be able to help folks in tough situations.

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