How To Contest A Will With Probate In Texas
In This Article, You Will Discover:
- How you benefit from retaining a probate and estate planning attorney.
- When you must settle your probate and estate.
- Why a will might be contested.
- and more…
How Long Do People Have To Settle Their Estate In Texas?
You have four years to file probate, though there are notable exceptions to that rule.
Regarding handling the state, there are no strict timelines, and as long as nobody is upset about the pace of the process, you can take as long as you want. Generally, after a little over a year, the heirs can start complaining, and the court can ask questions once probate is filed and established.
Is A Probate And Estate Planning Attorney Necessary In Texas?
Under Texas law, you must have an attorney if you are going through probate because the personal representative is not the estate, and the estate is not a person.
You can try for a small estate affidavit or an affidavit of heirship without an attorney; however, it is hit-and-miss. We have clients who decide they want to try that route, and we warn them ahead of time that it may not be feasible for their situation, or they may end up paying more.
For example, if you do a small estate or affidavit of heirship and try to sell a property, the title company may decide they don’t want to accept it. Then you have to get probate done after already spending time and money.
What Happens If A Will Is Not Probated?
When a will isn’t probated, the intended distribution of assets may not occur as the deceased wished. Probate in Texas serves as a legal process to validate the will and ensure assets are distributed correctly. Without probate, the deceased’s assets might be distributed based on state intestacy laws, which might not align with their wishes. Moreover, without the official probate process, there might be potential disputes or legal challenges from heirs or beneficiaries about asset distribution. To ensure that a loved one’s wishes are carried out and legal disputes are minimized, it’s crucial to consult a probate lawyer, like those at the Law Office of Richard Cahan in Pflugerville, Texas.
How To Avoid Probate In Texas?
Avoiding probate in Texas can save time and money for heirs and beneficiaries. There are several strategies to avoid probate:
Joint Ownership: Owning assets jointly, like real estate or bank accounts, often allows them to pass directly to the surviving owner without probate.
Payable-On-Death And Transfer-On-Death: Some accounts, like bank accounts or securities, allow owners to name a beneficiary. Upon the owner’s death, these assets directly transfer to the named individual.
Living Trusts: Creating a living trust allows individuals to place their assets in a trust, managed for their benefit during their lifetime. After their death, the assets are transferred to beneficiaries without going through probate.
Gifts: Giving away assets while alive removes them from the estate, ensuring they won’t need to be probated upon death.
Beneficiary Designations On Retirement Accounts: Naming beneficiaries for retirement accounts or life insurance policies ensures these assets bypass probate and go directly to the beneficiaries.
It’s essential to discuss these strategies with a probate lawyer to determine the best course of action for individual circumstances. Reach out to the professionals at the Law Office of Richard Cahan in Pflugerville, Texas, for tailored advice on how to avoid probate in Texas.
When It Comes To Probate, How Can An Experienced Texas Probate Attorney Help?
Outside of the requirement to have an attorney during probate, retaining a Texas probate attorney benefits clients by:
- Handling court matters properly
- Completing publications
- Filing documents with the court on time
- Ensuring the hearing runs as intended
- Preparing the inventory
- Answering all questions regarding the process and preparations
- Assuring that banking and other institutions provide the necessary information
- And much more…
The Law Office of Richard Cahan does our best to handle every step of the way, guaranteeing a smooth experience.
What Are Some Reasons A Probate Or A Will Would Be Contested In Texas?
Probate and wills are not contested often. The few our firm has seen stemmed from those who claim the testator signed the will without having capacity. If they had some known dementia or similar diagnosis, former heirs or beneficiaries may scrutinize a new will.
- Probate With A Will – When a Person Dies with a Will in Texas
- Probate Without a Will – When a Person Dies without a Will in Texas
Who Can Legally Challenge A Will Or Contest A Probate Matter?
To contest a will, you must be impacted; you have to be somebody who would have benefitted otherwise.
How Long Can You Go Back And Challenge A Probate Or A Will?
You have two years from the date the will is admitted to probate to file a Bill of Review, which includes a contest provision.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Probate Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.