When is probate needed in Texas?
Texas has a probate process similar to many other states, but before we go any further, let’s ask an important question: Do you even need to probate the estate?
Not all assets go through probate. Assets that automatically transfer to another person without a court order will avoid probate.
Generally, joint accounts and accounts or assets with beneficiary designations (e.g. life insurance and retirement accounts) will avoid probate. A properly funded revocable trust will also avoid probate.
You may also qualify for a simplified probate procedure Texas offers if:
- After excluding the homestead, the value of the estate, is $75,000 or less. This procedure can transfer the homestead, but it cannot transfer any other real estate, or
- The value of all property subject to probate does not exceed the amount for exempt property, homestead, certain creditors, and family allowance.
If the assets require probate, and they do not qualify for a simplified procedure based on the dollar values and other qualifications listed above, then you will have to go through the full probate process.
Don’t worry, though. You can still probate a Will or estate without an attorney, and you can still go through probate even if there is no Will.
If there is a Will, the person in charge of the probate is the person named as executor in the Will. Sometimes, however, that person is unable, or unwilling to serve as executor. When that happens, the next executor in the Will (i.e. the successor executor) can serve. If there are no successors, then the beneficiaries under the Will must appoint someone, or go to court if they cannot agree.
If there is no Will, then the heirs at law (e.g. children, surviving spouse, siblings) must agree and appoint someone to serve over the probate estate. The person appointed must consent to serve.
The first step towards getting a probate opened is completing our online questionnaire. If you have already started, you can always go back and finish it.
How to do Probate in Texas
Probate is needed in Texas when someone dies with assets in their single name, whether they have a will or not. Full court probate (court supervised) is required in Texas when the total assets of the estate are greater than $75,000 and or if there is a will. TX offers a simpler process when the assets are under $75,000 (excluding the homestead), or if there is a will and the only asset is the homestead and there are no creditors.
In most cases, Texas requires an attorney for full probate (court supervised). Don’t worry! EZ-Probate can provide you an affordable flat fee attorney, you can get started for as little as a $120 down payment!
At EZ-Probate, we can walk you through every detail of the Texas probate process. We’ll be with you until probate is over.