In Texas, probate is a necessary estate administration process that ensures that estate plans get executed properly. Sometimes, it is necessary when somebody dies with assets and there are issues or doubts surrounding the executor, the will or the estate itself. If you’ve been asking yourself certain questions about probate, keep reading.
What is probate?
Probate is the legal process of estate administration that occurs when there are disputes among heirs or creditors regarding the estate, its executor and the distribution process. The purpose of the probate process is to check the validity of a will and to ensure that estate plans are properly executed by the right person.
How does probate work?
The executor of an estate files all required documents with the local courthouse for review by the estate judge. If approved, an estate inventory is then created and creditors get notified. All assets of the estate are then identified along with any debts before the heirs or beneficiaries receive anything. The estate is then divided among the heirs in accordance with the estate plan.
Does every estate go through probate?
No, but it is necessary if there’s no living trust or sufficient estate planning documents in place before someone passes away. In that case, the estate goes through probate court. Also, the process is not necessary if the deceased made sure that the assets remained in a joint tenancy form.
Who oversees a probate process?
Usually, a probate court steps in to oversee the probate process. A probate court may appoint an estate executor or administrator to oversee the estate administration process. The court might also appoint an independent estate fiduciary to oversee probate proceedings if there are disputes among heirs over how much each should receive from the estate.
Although the probate process may seem daunting and stressful, in some cases, it is extremely necessary to ensure estate plans are properly executed. It’s important to note that estate owners can ensure that the beneficiaries don’t go through the probate process by creating living trusts, naming beneficiaries clearly and creating comprehensive wills.