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When a Person Dies With a Will in Texas

San Antonio Attorney Helping People With Estate and Probate Issues

Death is a topic that often makes people uneasy. Fortunately, people can partially alleviate their fears by executing wills that provide them with peace of mind that their estate will be distributed in compliance with their wishes. The mere existence of a will does not mean that a person’s estate can be easily divided when they pass away, however. Instead, when a person dies with a will in Texas, their will generally must pass through probate. Probate can be a long and complicated process, and it is advisable for anyone who recently lost a loved one to contact an attorney to discuss their options. The knowledgeable San Antonio estate planning lawyers of Parra Law Firm have the skills and resources needed to help people contend with the legal implications of the loss of a loved one, and if you need assistance with an estate planning or probate matter, we will work diligently on your behalf.

When a Person Dies With a Will in Texas

Generally, when a person dies with a will in Texas, their will must be probated before their assets can be divided among their heirs and beneficiaries. After a person dies, their will should be filed with the probate court in the county in which they lived prior to their death, along with a written application to admit the will to probate and appoint the applicant as executor. The application must be filed within four years of the person’s death.

Once it is filed, the clerk of the court will then post a notice in the courthouse alerting all interested parties that the will has been filed. The notice must stay up for a minimum of ten days to allow anyone who wishes to contest the will to come forward. If no one does, the court will proceed with confirming the will’s validity. Notably, however, a will can be challenged for up to two years after it is admitted for probate.

The court will then conduct a probate hearing, during which the judge will recognize the deceased person’s death and verify that the applicant is fit to be the executor of the estate and that the deceased person had a valid will. The applicant must offer evidence affirming numerous facts, including the date of death, the location of the deceased person’s last residence, and that the will in question was the decedent’s last will and testament, and was validly executed. If the court finds that all of the requirements have been met, it will appoint the applicant as the executor of the estate and admit the will to probate. The clerk will issue the executor letters testamentary, which notify third parties that they have the authority to act on behalf of the estate.

Within 90 days of the hearing, the executor must conduct an inventory and appraisal of the deceased person’s estate. They must also notify beneficiaries of the will, discharge debts, publish a notice to creditors, and file the deceased person’s final tax return. After any disputes are resolved and all of the deceased person’s debts have been settled, the remaining assets are distributed to their beneficiaries according to their will. Certain assets are not subject to the probate process, however, like retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and property in trusts.

Talk to a Trusted San Antonio Attorney Today

When a person dies with a will in Texas, their heirs typically must go through the process of probate. If you lost a loved one, it is smart to talk to an attorney regarding your rights and options with regard to their estate. The trusted San Antonio attorneys of Parra Law Firm are adept at aiding people with the probate of wills and other estate issues, and if you engage our services, we will zealously pursue your desired outcome. We have an office in San Antonio, and we regularly represent parties in estate matters in San Antonio and in nearby areas. You can reach us at (210) 332-5454 or through the form online to set up a free and confidential meeting to discuss your estate issue.

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