What is Probate?

When a loved one passes away, they have the option to leave assets to their friends and family members through a trust, or named beneficiaries. After they’ve passed, their estate will go into probate in order to distribute these possessions.

Keep reading to learn how long this process takes in Texas, and how our probate attorneys at James H. Horton Law Firm, P.C. can help make this process easier for you and your family.

The Probate Process in Texas

During probate, the court will legally recognize a person’s death, oversee the payment of their debts, and rule on the distribution of his or her estate and assets. If your loved one had a drafted will, the named executor of that will must file for probate — typically within four years of the decedent’s death.

The Application for Probate of Will and for Issuance of Letters Testamentary should be filed to the court with an original copy of the deceased’s will. From here, the court will have to notify each beneficiary and party named in the will that the process has begun.

The executor of the will must send certified letters to each person named in the will, with a copy attached, as well as the order from the court admitting the will to probate. The executor must typically do this within 60 days from the date of the order — and within 90 days, the executor must prepare a sworn affidavit with the court swearing that the beneficiaries were notified.

How Long Will Probate Take?

For simple and straightforward estates, the court should have a resolution within six months. However, if the original will cannot be located or the will is contested, the process can take up to a year. If a will is contested, a friend or family member can argue the terms of the will with the court for a new resolution.

Probate Attorneys in Denton

At James H. Horton Law Firm, P.C., our estate planning and probate lawyers are very familiar with all local, state, and federal court systems, and we are licensed to practice in courtrooms across Texas. Thus, we have the competence and qualifications needed to help you carry out your loved one’s wishes as seamlessly as possible.

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