Probating a Will
In Texas, the estate is comprised of all of the assets owned by someone at the time of their death. This includes cash, real estate, stocks, bonds, life insurance, retirement accounts, automobiles, jewelry, antiques, furnishings and so on.
The process by which a court recognizes that person's death and authorizes the administration of that person's belongings and debts is what is known as probating someone's estate.
Probating one's estate applies whether there is a written will or not.
The probate process requires that all of a person's property be gathered together, inventoried and itemized.
After all debts are paid the remaining assets are distributed according to either the provisions of the will (if there is one) or according to Texas laws regarding "intestacy" in those cases where someone dies without one.
How long after death can a will be probated?
Normally you have 4 years from the date of the decedent's death to file a will for probate. There is a limited exception that applies to Muniment of Title.
After four years if no will has been filed the deceased's estate is probated according to the terms outlined under Texas intestacy law (where there is no will).
John Q. Lawyer
Attorney at Law
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