When a person passes away and has a will, a judicial process is enacted to probate the will. This proves the validity of a will as a valid public certificate that represents the true last testament of the deceased.
Probating a will in Texas
Whether or not a person has a will when they die, their estate must go through probate. This process involves the collection and distribution of a decedent's assets. The process also pays off taxes and the liquidates of outstanding liabilities.
If the person dies and has a will, the person named as executor of the will is legally obligated to file the will for probate. An exception is if all persons named as beneficiaries of the will agree not to probate the will.
How does Texas probate work?
After you are deceased, the person that you have previously named as your executor will need to file papers on your behalf at the local probate court. There are a number of legal documents which are needed to be filed with the court.
The executor will need to appear with the attorney in court to validate the will. The lawyer must prove you are deceased and that the document presented as your will is really your last will and testament. This is what is referred to as Probate.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the executor will be appointed by the Court.
Remember: generally, a will is not considered legal until it is probated.
Role of the executor
- The executor will hire a lawyer to file an application to admit the will to probate.
- Legal documents are needed to be filed with the court
- The executor will need to appear with the attorney in court to probate (validate) a will in Texas.
- At the conclusion of the hearing, the executor will be appointed by the Court.
When the executor is appointed
- The property of the estate will be gathered and distributed in accordance with the intention of the will.
- The court makes sure the will is valid.
- The executor will be issued letters testamentary which will authorize the executor to do anything you could have done if you were still alive..
- The executor will locate and secure the assets of the deceased during the probate process.
- The court will also make sure all heirs know of the will and that it is being filed for probate.
- The lawyer will need to publish a Notice to Creditors in a newspaper.
After the property is properly distributed, and the bills are paid as best they can be, the executor’s duties are completed.