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A loved one pass away and leave property behind?


Know your options and how you can transfer the property the right way.

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Texas Probate Process


Transcribed from Rick Guerra – Guerra Days Law Group Real Estate Attorney

The loss of a loved one is understandably one of the most difficult and stressful situations one will ever face. Making it even more difficult in certain circumstances is if that loved one died leaving behind personal or real property that must be transferred to heirs.  Depending on the type or amount of property, there are times when ONLY a court of law is authorized to permit the transfer.  The process of utilizing the court system to finalize transfers of property from the deceased to heirs is called the probate process.  

It’s hard to think about matters relating to probate when you have just lost a loved one.  Sometimes it can take weeks or even months to emotionally process the loss.  Even when you and your family are ready to deal with the probate, it can be very stressful if you are unfamiliar with the process.  Hiring a knowledgeable probate attorney who can guide you through the legalities of Texas probate law is crucial during this time of your life.  At the Guerra Days Law Group, we have tried to make it simple and cost effective to allocate the deceased assets to the proper parties.   

When a person passes away they either die with or without a will.  When they die without a will the legal system considers that person to have died INTESTATE.   If a person dies with a will, then the assets are allocated according to the wishes of the deceased.  Just because a person dies with a will doesn’t mean that the assets automatically get allocated to the heirs.  The will must be officially processed and authorized through the courts before it will take effect.  If a will is not processed within 4 years of the person passing, the will may be voided.  If the will is voided, then the wishes of the deceased may be in jeopardy of not being realized. 

If a person dies without a will, then the assets are allocated according to the Texas intestate laws.  Texas has strict laws of how assets should be allocated if a person dies without a will.  Texas has created a process that they believe is fair to the heirs of an estate.  Understanding this process of allocating assets without a will is something that is more complex than a will and will likely require an attorney’s assistance to make a clear determination of how assets should be allocated.  Do not make the mistake of just transferring personal or real property based on opinions or assumptions.  This can cause more damage and expenses to remedy.  Make sure you use a competent attorney to guide you through this process. 

There are many different ways to resolve a probate matter.  Sometimes you may just want to transfer a property.  Other times you may need to act on behalf of the estate by appointing a executor, executrix, or administrator.  You need a professional that can help you create a custom plan to help you and your family maneuver through the probate options in the quickest most inexpensive manner.  

Our probate attorneys can assist you in handling matters ranging from deceased estate planning, routine probate matters, complex contested will situations, or probate litigation cases. We have probate attorneys in Houston, San Antonio, and Edinburg Texas to help you through the Texas probate process. Please review other content on our website to help understand some of the other subject matters related to probate.  We are here to assist you through this process.  Give us a call or fill out a form so you can set up your free consultation today.