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The proceedings begin just like in any other court — you are sworn in and you will be giving testimony, under oath, to the court. This venue takes place in the county where decedents lived for the last bit of their life, or where they had property. In some counties, like Dallas, Fannin, Tarrant, and Hunt, to name a few , the hearings are held in a crowded courtroom, and dozens of cases are heard one after another. You will also sign a required notice to creditors that must be published so that anyone who thinks the deceased person owes them money can make a claim.

If the county probate judge accepts your testimony and evidence, the court will order that the will be admitted to probate. Scenario 1 — Everyone gets along and there is a valid will. After being sworn in you will answer easy questions about the decedent: Did this person live in the county of the proceedings? Did they have children?


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Is the signature on the will their handwriting? Assuming the judge signs the order admitting the will to probate, you will then sign several pieces of paper including an oath saying you will ethically and legally carry out the responsibilities of the executor or administrator.

Scenario 2 — Everyone gets along but there is no will. Everything is the same as in the first scenario except that a court-appointed attorney Attorney Ad Litem will have been assigned to do background research and determine the heirs. They will be at the hearing, and the estate has to pay them. The Probate Code also requires that you have witnesses if there is no will — people like close friends who knew the family but are not inheriting anything. Sometimes you can have this done by an affidavit, so check with the specific court. The first two scenarios are known as independent administrations and usually involve only one court hearing and the filing of an inventory.

They account for more than 80 percent of Texas probates. Scenario 3 — There is a valid will but no one gets along. You will have a fight on your hands unless the will names an independent executor and this is not challenged. Scenario 4 — The ugly situation where there is no will and no one gets along.

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This will normally be a much more expensive process with the involvement and extra fees of a dependent administrator. Within 90 days of qualifying as executor or administrator, you must file an inventory with the court. If you need extra time, the court will usually let you have it.

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Keep in mind that creditors have one year to come back and request you pay them debts, so it is usually a good practice to leave some funds in an account for that. If the will states that there is no bond required, and the named executor is the one submitting the will to probate, there will be no bond required. But what if there is no will or the named executor is not the one probating the will or the will does not waive bond then whether or not you will be required to post a bond depends on three things:.

If all of the heirs agree to waive the bond, and there are no unsecured debts of the estate, the court will agree to waive the bond. These bonds generally guarantee that all the estate debts will be satisfied and that the remaining assets will be properly distributed to the appropriate heirs.

Because of the complexities involved, the surety usually requires that the applicant obtain the assistance of an attorney. Bond amounts are determined by the court. Bond premiums must be paid annually until the estate is properly settled. The surety will usually want to see a copy of the will to determine to complexity of handling the estate in Texas.

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The court will usually appoint one of the primary heirs to serve in this capacity. In all cases, the surety must review a copy of the Trust. In addition to the applicants credit report, there are many other factors that are taken into consideration when pricing administrator bonds in Texas. But in Texas, expect to pay for bonds at a rate something like this:. The executor or administrator is required to, among other things, prepare and file all of the tax returns due both for the decedent and for the estate.

The good news is that Texas does not have an inheritance tax , meaning no death-related taxes are ever owed to the state of Texas. Also good news, over 90 percent of all Texas estates are exempt from federal estate taxes. That leaves personal state and federal income tax.

These tax returns cover the period from Jan. If the decedent was married at the time of his death and he and his spouse filed joint tax returns, then the executor and the surviving spouse will jointly file the tax return, and both will sign it. However, the property that you inherit may have built-in income tax consequences.


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Tax matters involving Texas probate can get complicated. The executor must understand, at a minimum, that they are required to ensure that the estate income tax return is filed before the conclusion of the probate administration. Wrapping up the estate of a deceased person takes time and costs money, which ultimately detracts from the amount the beneficiaries receive through the probate system. Accordingly, beneficiaries may wish to keep track of the administration expenses incurred during this period. Texas law provides beneficiaries with certain rights to receive reports about these expenses, called accountings.

When all the debts and taxes have been paid, the assets left in the probate estate will be distributed under the provisions of the will. When there is no will, the property will be distributed according to provisions of Texas law.

belgacar.com/components/espionner/logiciel-espion-sur-ordinateur-portable.php Texas law requires estates to be distributed to the closest family members, if there are any. If a person is married or has children, the assets will be distributed to the spouse and children. If unmarried and without children, the assets will be distributed to other close relatives like parents and siblings.

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If the property is intended for close family members that might not be a big problem. Unfortunately, there is another problem as well — as discussed, without a will, estates almost always end up being probated through a dependent administration, and much of the assets of the estate that could have gone to family members will be used to pay for probate costs. It is possible to avoid a dependent administration in an intestate estate, but you will likely need the help of a Texas probate attorney. Once the assets of the estate have been distributed, the personal representative must issue a final accounting with the court, which must also be sent to each beneficiary.

The final accounting must also include an affidavit of the personal representative attesting to the distribution of assets and the expenses paid by the estate. Filing this affidavit concludes the term of the personal representative. Beneficiaries of the estate may request a closing of the estate if the personal representative does not. Please note that an independent executor may also reimburse himself for any expenses advanced on behalf of the estate, without court approval, but should take care to keep careful records of such expenses.

The amount of compensation is determined by the will. If the will is silent on this subject, the executor can be compensated according to a statutory formula upon prior approval by the probate court, which must make a determination that the executor has properly taken care of and managed the estate. When a will is probated as a Muniment of Title , no executor or administrator is appointed to administer the estate. Generally, a Muniment of Title should be considered when the estate has no unsecured debts and the only assets involved are real property and cash accounts.

A muniment is usually not advisable when the estate includes publicly traded securities, bonds, and similar assets, because transfer of these types of assets often requires an executor or administrator with authority pursuant to Letters Testamentary. Also, a will can only be admitted as a Muniment of Title in probate if it has been more than four years since the death of the decedent. If there is no will, a court-appointed attorney Attorney Ad Litem will be involved to do background research and determine the heirs.

You can get around this if a living trust is in place. In Texas this means closest living heirs receive the assets. A: Lawyers usually use one of three methods to charge for probate work: by the hour, a flat fee, or a percentage of the value of the estate assets. A: All real property goes through probate. A: Normally six months to a year. Complicated, contested wills that go to jury trial may take years to settle.

Q: I know that my loved one did not have a will.

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What do I do to settle the estate? Skip to content. How detailed this must be depends on the: Complexities of the estate Whether there is likely to be any question of assets owned or values by beneficiaries or creditors And other variables. There are several ways that a will can be determined to be invalid, including: Proving the will was a forgery The will was forced due to excessive influence by a third party The will was improperly executed They was more than one will executed Many people contesting a will in Texas never get to court because mediation is the suggested course of action for resolving conflict with Texas probate.

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