Do I Have to Go Through the Probate Process in Texas?
If you are unsure whether or not an estate must pass through probate, call an experienced Texas probate attorney for guidance.
When a person dies in Texas, his or her estate will likely pass through the probate process. However, not all estates must pass through probate, and even if an estate is required to go through probate, not all assets are subject to the probate process. To learn more about what assets need to go through probate, as well as when an estate has to go through probate in Texas, call the law office of John Powell III, P.C. today.
When is an Estate Exempt from the Probate Process?
An estate may be exempt from the probate process in certain circumstances. Under Texas Estates Code, Title 2, Chapter 205, an estate need not pass through the probate process if there is no will and the total value of the estate (not counting any homestead real estate owned by the Decedent) is $75,000 or less. If these criteria are satisfied, then the people who are to inherit the property can file an affidavit with the court to collect the property after 30 days have passed since the decedent’s death.
Types of Property Exempt from Probate
In addition to circumstances when an estate can bypass the probate process entirely, there are also times when assets held in an estate can be transferred to the new owner (beneficiary) without having the assets pass through probate. For example, assets can be transferred without probate when:
- The asset is held in joint tenancy, such as a home where two people’s names are on the deed;
- Community property with the right of survivorship;
- Payable-on-death bank accounts;
- Proceeds and benefits that are payable via a life insurance policy; and
- Payments from a survivor annuity.
Additionally, while assets that are named in a will must go through probate--indeed, the probate process involves the court reviewing a will and ensuring that it is valid--any assets that are held in a trust are exempt from the probate process.
How a Texas Probate Attorney Can Help
Navigating the probate process can be confusing, and if a loved one dies, you may be unsure of your rights or obligations related to probate. If you are the administrator of a decedent’s estate, talking to a probate attorney can prove helpful. The first thing that your attorney will do is review the estate to determine whether or not it must pass through probate and, if so, which assets are exempt. If the estate does need to pass through probate, your attorney can begin to inventory various assets, review the estate's liabilities and debts, work with creditors, handle all paperwork associated with the probate process, manage the administration of assets in the estate to beneficiaries, and more.
Call Our Texas Probate Lawyer Today
At the law offices of John Powell III, P.C., our Texas probate attorney is available to provide you with the representation and counsel you need when probate is necessary. To learn more about the probate process and our law firm, please call our attorney today or send us a message at your convenience. We can offer consultations over the phone and in person.