Ultimate guide to probate in Texas
Texas probate is not always easy, but this guide will break down the process and answer commonly asked questions about probate in Texas.
What is probate in Texas?
Probate in Texas is the court-supervised proceeding to settle an estate and distribute assets to rightful heirs and beneficiaries. In cases where a Will is present, probate validates the estate planning document. Probate also appoints a personal representative or executor to finalize the probate process and oversee the distribution of assets.
How much does probate cost in Texas
Probate in Texas costs an average of $15,000. But that price can range widely depending on the size and complexity of the estate. Common fees you should expect to pay include:
Basic court filing fees
Various appraisal and survey fees
If you hire an attorney, attorney fees
Texas probate costs can be affected by how complicated and big an estate is. If anyone contests the Will or any other part of the process, it can cost more.
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PROBATE PROCESS STEPS
How to start probate in Texas
The probate process can vary from state to state, but starting probate in Texas follows a general procedure. The first thing you need to do is reach out to the court. Then, you should:
Get appointed as the executor.
Submit the Will (if found) to the court.
Create an inventory of all found assets.
Determine the value of assets.
Submit both the inventory and the valuations to the court.
Pay off outstanding debts and any final expenses.
File taxes and pay anything the estate owes.
Distribute what assets are left to beneficiaries.
Note that the person filling the role of executor may also have to complete tasks such as:
Open a checking account
Get an EIN
Read and understand the Will
Effectively communicate with beneficiaries
Inform creditors of the decedent’s passing
Learn all the deadlines associated with the probate process in Texas
Pay all the final estate bills
File a tax return for the estate
Submit a death certificate
Keep detailed, accurate receipts of any debts paid off or payments made
Close the estate at the end of probate
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Commonly asked questions about probate in Texas
Some you should be on the lookout for include– Certificate of Filing Will; Petition of Probate; Notice to Creditors; Bond or Waiver of Bond; List of Interested Persons; Filing Inventory & Appraisal; Ongoing/Annual Accounting; Notice to Beneficiaries; Filing for Close of Probate; and Release of Liability & Responsibility.
The last type, muniment of title, is specific and unique to the state. During this type of probate, there’s no executor. The court certifies the Will and then distributes assets to appropriate beneficiaries.
Within 1 year of death – Time allowed to void a marriage.
No later than the 2nd anniversary of the date the Will was submitted – Time allowed for contest the Will.
No later than the 4th anniversary of the decedent’s passing – Time allowed for admission of Will to probate.
21st day after date Will was probated – Time allowed for granting of letters of testamentary.
31st day after the decedent's passing – Time allowed for an Executor to present the Will for probate.
Two months after admission of Will – Time to give notice to beneficiaries of probate of Will.
One month after grant of letters – Time for giving notice to creditors.
Note: the most common mistake Personal Representatives make is failure to properly notify creditors.
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