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Texas Probate Laws, Definitions and Timelines

When someone you care about has passed away, it’s normal to feel sad and require some time to start feeling better. However, specific tasks must be taken care of based on the law. If the person who passed away had belongings and property, these things have to be legally sorted out through a process known as probate.

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Basics Of Probate in Texas

Probate is the official way of giving out the things that belonged to someone who passed away, to the people who should have them next. If you haven’t gone through this process before, it’s important to know that you have to do what the person who died wanted. This means you need to finish any jobs they said should be done and pay any money they owed. Even if you don’t know a lot about these things, this article will tell you the basic Texas probate rules.

What If Someone Doesn’t Want to Go for Probate?

In Texas, you can avoid the probate process by planning ahead. One way is by putting your things into something called a "living trust" and saying who should get them after you’re gone. This person is not the same as the one who had the things while they were alive. They only get the things after the original owner passes away. Sometimes, you can also skip probate in special situations. If you have bank accounts, investments, life insurance policies, or retirement fund accounts, you can skip probate by telling who should get them after you’re gone. When you show the organization a copy of your death certificate, these things will automatically go to the person you chose. If you and someone else own things together, like a house or other stuff, those things will automatically belong to the other person who’s still alive.

How Much Time Does Probate Take in Texas?

The time it takes to finish probate can vary for each situation and state. It depends on things like how big the estate is and where it’s located. The person overseeing probate, the executor, has to let the people who will get the stuff know about the papers they might have to fill out. If everything goes well and there are no fights or hard problems, it might take about 6 months to a year, or sometimes even longer, to complete everything.

Is Probate Required in All States in Texas?

Not all the stuff people leave behind has to go through probate in Texas. Special rules make the process simpler or different, depending on what’s there. For example, if someone who passed away had things in Texas worth less than $75,000 (not counting their car), there’s a faster probate way they can use. This helps move the stuff to the new owner more quickly. But if the person had things worth more than $75,000, they have to do the regular probate process. This means everything they owned needs to be officially listed and written down before it can be given to the new owner.

Is It Necessary to Go for Probate in Texas?

Yes. In Texas, probate is usually necessary unless everything someone leaves behind is not correctly written down. Most times, estates have to go through probate to make sure that the things are shared with the right inheritors in the right manner.

How Many Probate Courts Are There in Texas?

Cases about probate can be dealt with in different types of courts in a county. There are about 18 courts in Texas that are responsible for helping with probate cases. These courts are known as county courts, county courts at law, statutory probate courts, or district courts in specific counties.

What Is the Probate Code in Texas?

In Texas, there are special laws for probate. You can find these laws in the Texas Probate Code, section 205.001. The instructions for how probate cases are done can be found on the official website of the Texas Estate Code.

>States with an estate tax:

  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington (state

States with an inheritance tax:

  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania

Estate and Inheritance Tax

  • Maryland

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What Do We Know About the Charges of The Executor of An Estate in Texas?

The person in charge called the executor, does get paid for the time and work they do to handle the person’s belongings. They also get money back for any costs they paid from their pocket that was needed for taking care of the belongings.

How Much Executor of An Estate Charge in Texas?

As per the Texas estate probate code, an executor can receive 5% of the money they handle during the estate process. This is for the work they do in managing the estate, and it shouldn’t be more than 5% of the estate’s total value. The money the executor gets is calculated by adding up the value of all the things that need to be taken care of (like houses, money in the bank, investments, and things the person owned). Just remember, before the executor gets paid, a judge needs to agree. Sometimes, the judge might say the executor gets more or less money based on how hard the job is or other important factors. And, if the executor is going to inherit some of the things that are left behind, they can choose not to take the payment for being in charge.

What Is the Importance of Filing a Will for Probate in Texas?

Even if probate isn’t necessary, the person’s will still need to be given to the court. This is important because the court can use the will as evidence to settle any disagreements or unlawful actions that might arise.

How Much Time You Have to File the Documents for Probate?

As per the Texas probate code, an executor has an important time limit to start the probate process within 4 years from when the person died. During this time, they need to finish the paperwork and legal steps while also informing all the people who are owed money by the person who died.

General Steps of Settling an Estate in Texas (If the Case Is Not Complex and Not Involved in Any Dispute)

Taking care of someone’s belongings in Texas usually includes a few steps. These steps can differ based on how complicated the stuff is and if there’s a will or trust. Here are the simple steps for handling things in Texas.
  1. Get the paper that shows the person has passed away.
  2. Find and keep safe the things the person owned.
  3. Look for papers that say what the person wanted for their things.
  4. Start probate (if needed).
  5. Choose someone to take care of the person’s things.
  6. Tell the people who are owed money and pay them.
  7. Write a list and say how much the things are worth.
  8. Give information about taxes.
  9. Give the things to the people they should go to.
  10. Write down the final count and finish the work.

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:

  1. In Texas, you have 30 days to notice creditors in the newspaper after the decedent passes away.
  2. Once noticed, he creditor has 4 months to bring a claim against the estate.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

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When someone you care about has passed away, it’s normal to feel sad and require some time to start feeling better. However, specific tasks must be taken care of based on the law. If the person who passed away had belongings and property, these things have to be legally sorted out through a process known as probate.

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