Understanding The Process
Texas has made great strides to streamline the process to probate an uncontested will, all stated in the Texas Estates Code.
For an uncontested probate matter, you must have in hand the decedent’s original will which no person will contest and which the court, upon proper application, will admit to probate. At the executor’s request, Ms. Oliver will then assist the executor with the administration of the estate, to gather in the assets, notify the creditors and beneficiaries, qualify claims against the estate, and distribute the estate in accordance with the will.
In Texas, a will must be probated within four years of the date of the decedent’s death, in the Texas county in which the decedent resided and died. The will may have been signed in Texas, or it may have been signed in another state or another country. The Texas Estates Code allows for probate after four years in certain circumstances.
Steps For Probating A Will
There are steps to probate a will:
- The applicant must file an application to have the will admitted to probate and have the executor appointed to the position of executor.
- The original will must be delivered to the court.
- A holographic will is a will that was written by the testator totally in the testator’s own handwriting and signed by the testator.
- A self-proved will is a will that was signed by the testator, and two witnesses affirmed that they witnessed the testator sign the will, and all their signatures are notarized. A witness cannot be named by the testator as a beneficiary in the will.
- The clerk publishes notice that the will has been offered for probate.
- A hearing is scheduled, and paperwork prepared for the hearing.
- The applicant appears in court to testify to the authenticity of the will.
- The court admits the will to probate and orders that Letters Testamentary be issued to the executor.
The will has then been probated. The executor now is in control of the decedent’s estate.
For an uncontested probate matter, this procedure usually takes no more than four to six weeks, depending upon the court’s schedule.
Assisting Executors With Their Duties
Once the executor is appointed, the executor has a fiduciary duty to administer the estate as ordered by the testator in the will. At the executor’s further request, Amy Rose Oliver is available at an hourly rate to assist to accomplish these tasks, including:
- Obtain letters testamentary, a certified copy of the will, a certified copy of the order admitting the will to probate.
- Obtain a tax ID for the estate and open a bank account for the estate.
- Notify creditors and beneficiaries of the estate as required by the Estates Code.
- Receive and qualify claims made against the estate.
- Gather in the assets of the estate.
- File the required inventory and appraisement of the estate.
- Distribute the estate as ordered by the will, including preparation of real property conveyances and other documents required to conveyance title to property.