Probate FAQs

A will can be changed as often as a person wishes.  The will is valid once it is signed and the state requirements for its creation are met.

A will is a binding document in the eyes of the court after the person dies and it is admitted to probate. Probate is the legal process in which a Court determines the validity of a deceased person's last will and testament once the application to probate a will is filed.

The executor named in the will may file an application to probate a will. Additionally, an “interested person” of the estate (someone who is entitled to assets from the estate) may file an application to probate a will. An “interested person” is defined by the Texas Probate Code as \"heirs, devisees, spouses, creditors, or any others having a property right in, or claim against, the estate being administered; and anyone interested in the welfare of an incapacitated person, including a minor."

In Texas, an application for probate must generally be filed within four years of the date of death.

The application to probate a will is generally filed with County Clerk in the county where the Decedent resided at the time of death.

If someone dies intestate (without leaving a valid Will), their assets will be divided and distributed to his heirs as determined by Texas law. The Texas Probate Code has specific methods for determining the identity of the Decedent’s heirs and also the shares of the estate that each heir is entitled to share.

Yes, in order for a handwritten will to be valid, it must be written completely in the handwriting of the Decedent and no portion of the Will can be typed or written in the handwriting of another person.  It also must be signed by the person making the Will.  While it does not require signature of witnesses it must express the Decedent’s true intent as to the disposition of his estate.

Creditors of the Decedent are entitled to recover their debts against the assets of the estate owned by the Decedent at the time of the Decedent's death.  If the Decedent's assets are insufficient to pay all of the debts, any unpaid debts will be cancelled by the creditor.

It is a probate proceeding unique to Texas where the will is filed through a probate proceeding to transfer ownership of real estate in Texas to the beneficiaries in the will without a deed or a full probate.

The probate process is a court proceeding so costs can vary widely depending on the complexity of the estate.  We would be happy to discuss our fees during an initial consultation.  For more information, please complete the contact us form.