What Exactly Is Probate In Texas? When Does It Occur?
Probate is the process of managing your estate through the courts after you pass away. It does not commence longer than four years after your death, but most often occurs within 30 to 60 days after your death.
How Long Does The Executor Have To Probate A Will In Texas?
The executor has four years from the date of death to probate a will in Texas.
Does A Surviving Spouse Who Is Not Named On A Property Need To Go Through Probate In Texas?
It depends upon the nature of the assets. Texas is a community property state. After marriage, any assets acquired are presumed community property. If a couple buys a home after they are married and one spouse dies, that asset is considered a community asset, and it is partitioned at death: 50% to the surviving spouse, and 50% to the beneficiary/beneficiaries of the decedent spouse’s estate. Often, the primary beneficiary of the deceased’s estate is the spouse, but the asset is partitioned 50/50. The decedent’s will only impacts 50% of the community property.
What Generally Leads An Executor Of A Will To Contact Your Firm?
When a death occurs, often it is the decedent’s family who contacts my office about probating the will Most executors are surviving spouses, children, or siblings of a decedent.
What Is The Best Way To Sell Property During a Probate In Texas?
Often the decedent’s will requires the beneficiaries approval to sell the property during probate. This approval is needed because one or more beneficiaries may want a property and are willing to buy out the interest of other beneficiaries. A property may have been owned by the same family for generations and a beneficiary may want the property to stay in the family. On the contrary, beneficiaries may want property liquidated out of the estate and cash, instead of property, distributed to the beneficiaries. A real estate agent can be hired by the estate to sell the property. The process is a traditional real estate transaction with the estate acting through the executor as the seller.
Can Other Family Members Step In And Stop The Sale Before The Deal Goes Through?
For the estate’s benefit, all beneficiaries should be in agreement to sell the property to avoid complications leading to more expense in the administration of the estate. A settlement agreement should be reached to document agreements between the beneficiaries as to estate assets. The settlement agreement may confirm that one beneficiary is going to buy out the interest of another beneficiary in an estate asset from another beneficiary. The settlement agreement may also confirm that a beneficiary will take more or less interest in one asset in return for another beneficiary taking more or less interest in another estate asset. It is vital to maintain communication between the executor and the beneficiaries.
Outside of Probate, Are There Any Ways To Transfer Property If The Decedent Dies Without A Will?
If a decedent dies without a will, or if the decedent will is not probated, for whatever reason, a title company will often accept an affidavit of heirship. The affidavit of heirship is a legal document recorded in the county records where the property is located that confirms the heirs of the decedent. The title company will follow the Texas law of intestate succession to determine the heirs who will receive proceeds from the property sale. Who receives proceeds from the sale is dependent upon who survives the decedent. If the beneficiaries to the decedent’s will are not the same as all of the decedent’s heirs under intestate succession, the decedent’s will must be probated to effect the decedent’s wishes with respect to the property.
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