Probate Time Limits for Wills in the State of Texas

The probate process can be complex and confusing, especially for those new to this area of the law. Working with a Katy estate planning law firm can provide added help for families dealing with the aftermath of a loved one’s death. Understanding the time limits enforced for probate proceedings in the state of Texas can also provide added help in dealing with the legal requirements associated with these issues.

Probate Must Begin Within Four Years

While some exceptions do exist, most probate actions must begin within four years of the date of death. This includes the filing of the will, if applicable, and any other documentation that can be used by the court to determine the proper distribution of assets belonging to the estate. Your Katy real estate law firm can provide you with support throughout this process to ensure that it is completed correctly and in a timely manner.

Some Cases Do Not Require Probate

For estates valued at under $10,000 and with no unsecured debts, muniment of title proceedings may offer an alternative to probate. The court may decide that probate law is not necessary in these cases, allowing the distribution and transfer of title of assets directly by court order.

Other Deadlines Must Be Met

After a will has been entered into probate, the executor of the estate must take an oath of office within 20 days of his or her appointment. Within one month of taking office as the executor, he or she must publish a notice to creditors in the local newspaper of record notifying them of the estate’s probate status. The executor is also obligated to provide secured creditors with a direct notice of the status of probate within two months of the oath of office. Finally, a comprehensive inventory of all assets of the estate must be completed and delivered to the probate court by the executor within three months of taking office.

Contesting the Will

Any contests to the will must be filed within two years after the probate process begins. Extensions may be granted for individuals who can show that they were incapacitated during the initial two-year period or if the will can be demonstrated to be fraudulent.

Henry A. Jakob, PLLC, is a full-service Katy and Sugar Land real estate law firm that has extensive experience in business planning, probate issues and other aspects of civil litigation in our area. We work with individuals and businesses throughout Houston, Sugar Land and Katy to provide the best possible representation and guidance for your case. Call our offices today at 832-879-2244 to schedule a consultation with our experienced legal professionals. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.

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