What Probate Looks Like When There Is A Will

Sometimes people do not understand how important estate planning is until they have experienced the passing of a loved one who hasn’t done any. During this emotional and stressful time in your life, you have to deal with the probate process’s complexities, which could take up to a year or more. Most of the person’s assets will have to pass through probate before any of the beneficiaries have access. Here are some assets that will not have to pass through probate:

  • Asset with beneficiary designation
  • Asset with joint ownership that has right of survivorship
  • Asset with payable on death or transfer on death designation

Although we discuss here what happens when someone passes away with a will, it is essential to note that probate happens with or without one. However, the probate process is faster, easier, and less expensive with a will. 

Probate Process in Texas With a Will

The first step is filing for probate in the appropriate jurisdiction, and you will need an attorney to do this for you.  There will be a probate application submitted to the court clerk which must remain pending for 10 days following the submission.  Once the 10 days have passed, a hearing will be held to consider the application. 

Although the timeline can vary, you can have a hearing as soon as two weeks after the application is filed—given that the will doesn’t have any irregularities, is uncontested and is filed within four years of the person’s passing. There could be additional steps when there are irregularities in the will or if the will has been filed for probate more than four years after the person’ passing. These will be unique to your situation, but they could add time to this process.  

Next Steps 

When you write a will, you will name an executor. A probate judge appoints the executor based on your will.  An executor must have legal counsel to assist them with the entirety of the probate process. For instance, in Texas, they have to publish a notice to your creditors in the newspaper, notify named beneficiaries and ensure a proper Inventory is filed. 

Establishing outstanding debts and settling them has to occur before the deceased’s assets can be distributed to the designated beneficiaries. Again, probate is an involved and intricate process that becomes significantly easier with a will. Even though we didn’t explain the process in its entirety, we will be writing a series about probate that will include further details. Check back next month to learn more about what happens when there is no will. 

Get In Touch With An Estate Planning Attorney 

When someone passes away with or without a will, speak with an attorney who understands the probate process. At the Law Offices of Debbie J. Cunningham, we will work with you to find the most cost-effective way to resolve your legal issue. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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Law Offices of Debbie J. Cunningham

Debbie Cunningham is an Irving attorney providing affordable estate planning to the Dallas/ Fort-Worth areas. She understands the steps you should take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Debbie is family-focused and wants to ensure her clients are fully informed on the options that are available for their families. Debbie’s own blended family has given her valuable insights into the complexities of family dynamics.

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