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6 Steps to Probating a Will in Texas

Posted on in Estate Planning and Probate

Texas probate lawyerProbate can be very complicated. Even relatively straightforward probate cases involving smaller estates can be challenging if even one step goes slightly awry. Whether your loved one left a will or not, a problem that arises during any one step can lead to long delays and more expenses. There are generally six steps, or phases, of the probate process in Texas. Some steps are trickier than others. Some may go quickly, and others may seem to drag on forever. Most people could greatly benefit from a lawyer’s assistance in navigating the process. 

Regardless of the complexity of the estate, it is typically easier to manage if you have a lawyer on board from the beginning. Our team has the experience needed to anticipate and be prepared for any potential difficulties during probate. 

What to Expect During Texas Probate

Each step in the probate process must be completed correctly and in order before any distributions can be made. The six steps are: 

  • Application - A personal representative opens the probate case by filing a will with the probate court. This must take place within four years of the testator’s passing, but it is generally done quite promptly.
  • Validation - There is a two-week waiting period between the application and a hearing to validate the will. During this time, anyone with a potential interest in the estate has the opportunity to challenge the will’s validity. If there are no disputes, this step may go quickly. If there is significant doubt as to the will’s validity, this phase can be time-consuming and potentially costly. Only then can a judge validate the will and formally appoint an administrator. 
  • Inventory - The testator’s assets must be thoroughly inventoried, and a report must be submitted to the court. Valuation of assets should also be completed. 
  • Notification - Both beneficiaries named in the will and the testator’s creditors must be notified. This period may take some time if the testator had a lot of creditors. 
  • Disputes, if any - If anyone is contesting the will, the contest must be resolved at this stage. Creditors with a claim to the testator’s assets should file their claims at this time. 
  • Distribution - Finally, the decedent’s assets are distributed to the appropriate parties. 

If this process seems confusing to you, you are not alone. Probate is not easy, even under the best of circumstances. 

Call a Texas Probate Lawyer

Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law is skilled at anticipating potential challenges that may arise during the complex process of probate. Our experienced Comal County probate attorneys will do everything we can to simplify the process for you. Call 210-535-0870 for a free consultation. 



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