People often wonder how long it takes to probate a will in Texas. State and local Court rules govern the amount of time it takes. The executor or the estate administrator will be required to follow these rules. Generally, you will be required to file an application for probate, then give notice to the public, creditors, and beneficiaries. It is important to realize that if an estate is extremely complex or if there is a dispute from either a creditor or a beneficiary, the process can take much longer to finalize. This is a general guide for an undisputed estate.
Time to File for Probate
Texas Estates Code requires that an executor of the will has four years from the date of the decedents death to file for probate. If the application is not filed within four years, then the estate could be subject to the laws of intestacy. Meaning the estate will be handled as if no will existed.
After filing the application, the executor must wait at least 10 business before a hearing can be held. This gives the Court time to post a public notice that an application for probate has been filed.
This hearing is typically referred to as a prove-up hearing. This is where the judge will admit the will for probate.
If filing for Letters of testamentary, then the executor has 30 days from the date the letters are issued to file a public notice in the local newspaper. This notice is to notify all creditors of the estate that the estate has entered probate. This is usually unnecessary if filing for a muniment of title.
Texas allows 60 days after the will was admitted for probate for the executor to provide written notice to all beneficiaries. This notice must include a copy of the will and a copy of the order admitting the will for probate. This notice must be sent certified mail. After doing so, the executor will submit an affidavit to the Court stating that they have provided notice to all beneficiaries. This affidavit must be submitted within 90 days of the Court order.
If an estate is undisputed it can be a relatively simple process to probate a will in Texas. However, depending on the complexity of the estate it can become a long process.
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