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If you are currently dealing with, or about to deal with, the Texas state court system with respect to a probate or estate issue - the following information should be helpful to you.

Probate law governs estate matters when someone who, such as a family member or other loved one, passes away. These laws insure that creditors are paid properly and that assets are distributed correctly to the "heirs," or the descendant(s) of the estate.

What is the purpose of Probate? Probate is the legal process that deals with estate assets and property, with regard to heirs and creditors. Probate begins with a "petition" to open the estate and name a personal representative who is responsible for the administration of the deceased's property.

The next step is when an official Notice of Creditors is printed in a local newspaper and Notice of Administration is sent to other involved parties. Creditors then have a set amount of time to file their claims from the first date of publication. Then the personal representative can pay the debt and distribute the remaining estate. Finally, a petition for discharge is filed, and the estate is closed.


Probate Law in Texas

Probate in the state of Texas requires that the people managing your estate and inheritance matters are aware how probate is to be conducted in this state, with respect to state probate regulations, deadlines and written documents. These regulations are critical, as proper probate procedure has a material affect on how and when heirs in Texas can receive their inheritance.

During probate in Texas it is important to know about the assignment of property that is received from the decedent of the estate. Your probate attorney will be able to insure that this assignment is managed and resolved satisfactorily. Likewise, "power of appointment" is extremely important in Texas probate law - as this stage is where the estate's personal representative assumes control of the estate until probate has been completed, and concluded.

Choosing your probate lawyer carefully also makes sense, as your probate attorney is generally responsible for making sure your formal Texas probate documents have been written and executed properly. The lawyer will also be responsible for filing these documents properly; and making certain they have been filed within the strict deadlines imposed by Texas probate law. Failure to complete all of the above tasks in exact compliance with Texas probate law will result in possible delays, penalties, and/or extra expense.

During Texas probate, it is important to be familiar with the assignment of property received from a decedent. A person who is legally entitled to receive inherited property, through the power of a will, is permitted to assign that they property to anyone like. This is important to know, and what you do not know, or understand, your probate lawyer can explain.

In Texas, the law says you must probate your estate within four years of the testator having passed away. However - one is permitted to probate after four years have passed since the passing of the testator if one was not responsible for not filing for probate, and if one can prove this, then there is still a way to get the probate process underway. This is especially critical if one or more inheritances, connected to multiple heirs, are involved.

It would be advisable to have an experienced Texas probate attorney involved during probate to accomplish all of these tasks quickly and correctly. Hiring a probate lawyer who is familiar with Texas probate law would be helpful. The probate attorney can be there through the entire probate process to make sure the inheritance process is being handled properly. It is not advisable to go through Texas probate alone, in order to protect your inheritance and the inheritance of the other heirs, should there be other heirs involved in the estate.

Texas Probate

Texas maintains 16 probate courts. 16 judges maintain jurisdiction over estate and mental health issues. The probate courts in Texas permit trial by jury. In the state of Texas, the County Court of Law, Constitutional County Court, and District Court also hold jurisdiction over juvenile, estate, and mental health matters. These courts do permit jury trials.

Inheritance Taxes

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