Texas Probate Laws, Definitions and Timelines
The probate process is not required in Texas if the decedent has set up a trust (or family trust) which in most cases helps their estate to avoid probate. However, if those trusts or plans were not made, the only way estate assets can be distributed in Texas is through the probate. There are extreme cases where an estate will still need to pass through probate even if the decedent had a trust in place.
Being told that you have to go through probate after you’ve suffered the loss of a loved one can be devastating.
Now you have legal responsibilities to handle while grieving your loved one, planning a funeral, and burying them.
How long does probate take in Texas ?
In non-pandemic times, the probate assets (personal property) within an estate in Texas can take anywhere from 9 months to 3 years to be distributed from the decedents estate. There are different variables including the following:
- Size of the estate which dictates how long an inventory of assets will take
- The amount of beneficiaries in the estate
- How fast the executor of the estate can push the process along
- If the will is contested
- Probate Court Timelines
Probate proceedings take a long time. In addition, courts have been forced to go remote as a result of the pandemic, and thus have been slowed down as a result. There have been many articles recently published on the delay in the court system which has caused a lot of anguish to estate heirs. You cannot distribute any assets to heirs until the estate goes through the legal process of probate. Doing so before the probate is closed can lead to legal issues for the executor and cause headaches for everyone involved. In this article we go over laws specific to Texas as well as ways that you can receive your inheritance cash now.
Estate And Inheritance Tax Laws
When you go through probate administration it’s important to keep in mind the specific state laws for taxes and seek legal advice. There are 38 states in the country that do not have an estate tax in place. These are the different tax laws by state.
If the deceased person’s assets are not set up with an estate plan for intestate succession the estate will haveto go through probate and you will haveto pay taxes.
States with an estate tax:
- New York
- Rhode Island
- Washington (state)
States with an inheritance tax:
- New Jersey
Estate and Inheritance Tax
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Probate Loan vs Probate Advance In Texas
If you are stuck in the process of probate in Texas you might have thought about borrowing against your estate or getting a mortgage on a property in probate. This is commonly referred to as an estate loan, traditional bank loan or probate loan. It’s important to understand the difference between probate loans in Texas and an advance on your inheritance money. Inheritance advances are a much simpler process when compared to a probate loan because you don’t have the traditional requirements of a bank loan with credit checks and repayment terms on assets.
When you apply for a probate loan, you need to go through the traditional loan application process. It can be time consuming and difficult because of credit requirements and a lengthy application to be completed either online or with a representative at the bank. Thus, like probate, there can be no end in sight for many heirs.
Here are some helpful resources to utilize when you enter into the probate process in Texas due to a loved one’s death and it can help you answer more questions about probate:
Most estates in Texas must pass through the probate process, there are a few exceptions. For those who meet certain criteria, simplified proceedings known as small estate proceedings may be available.
No, all estates do not have to go through probate in Texas . Joint tenancy often works well when couples (married or not) acquire real estate, vehicles, bank accounts or other valuable property together in Texas each co-owner must own an equal share. If joint tenancy of assets are in place, then they do not have to pass through the probate process in Texas .
The largest cost in probate is always the Attorneys’ fees. In Do all estates have to go through probate in Texas , like most states, Attorney’s fees are based on the number of hours billed and the lawyer’s hourly rate. The cost for simple estates can range from $2,000 to $5,000 while more complicated cases may reach up to ten times that amount.
- Revocable living trusts.
- Make sure any real property is owned with tenants by entirety or has a beneficiary. This is referred to as joint tenancy ownership, otherwise known as “tenants by entirety”
- “Payable on death” designations.
- Life insurance.
- Retirement accounts that have a designated beneficiary.
- Having an estate of less than an amount which is designated by the state to be considered a “small estate.”
- Create a revocable living trust
How to avoid probate in Texas
- Hire a good estate planning attorney
- Open bank accounts and designate heirs as beneficiaries of the accounts
- Add a ‘transfer on death’ deed to any real estate you own
- Create a revocable living trust
- Make sure any real property is owned with tenants by entirety or has a beneficiary.
Probate Code And Texas Law Resources:
Texas law requires estates to be distributed in the following order if there is no will:1. Close relatives, such as parents and siblings; 2. Spouse of an unmarried person without children; 3. Children (if any) if there are no other close family members
Important Texas probate Information:
- In Texas, you have 30 days to notice creditors in the newspaper after the decedent passes away.
- Once noticed, he creditor has 4 months to bring a claim against the estate.
- The executor or administrator must file an inventory with the court within 90 days. If you are not going to make this deadline, you must file with the court.
- Most Probates have 4 years from the date of the deceased person (decedent)’s death to file their will to go through the probate process.
- There are 18 probate courts in 10 counties in Texas. It is extremely important to start the probate process in the correct court, otherwise, the matter will most likely be thrown out and you will have to start over.
How much does an estate have to be worth to go to probate in Texas?If an estate worth less than $75,000 is not required to go through the probate system in Texas. When a person dies and leaves assets behind, often their will names an executor who manages those assets until they are distributed among heirs or beneficiaries according to how the individual left them. If one’s property passes under this threshold of value it avoids going through a lengthy process that includes court fees but also takes time from other responsibilities.
Texas Probate Resources:https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/ES/htm/ES.256.htm https://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Free_Legal_Information2&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=35422
Contact Inheritance Advanced to Receive Your Inheritance Money In Texas Now
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Our experienced team is compassionate, caring, and understanding. We know how difficult it is to wait for probate, that is why we give you your funds now and wait for probate ourselves, so you don’t have to.