When a loved one passes away, you will face difficult emotions and questions. What do you do? How do you pay for the funeral? What did your loved one want? Hopefully, your loved one has an estate plan because their will answers these questions. Though, even if so, you must then face the legal process known as probate.
Probate is the legal process that distributes a person’s assets and closes out their debts after the person passes away. The probate process is typically done at the direction of the deceased person’s will. Though, a will is not always present. If your loved one has no will at the time of their death, their assets and debts can be settled through your state’s intestate law in probate.
The first step in Texas probate
To start the probate process in Texas, the first step is to file an application to “Probate Will and for Issuance of Letters Testamentary” in the county where the deceased passed away.
Many times, because assets must be distributed amongst multiple Plano, Texas, parties, beneficiaries, heirs and creditors, the state does not allow an individual to begin the probate process. In those cases, an attorney may be required, but their reasonable expenses can, usually, be paid from the estate’s assets.
For smaller estates, estates with only one true beneficiary, you may apply as a pro se applicant, without an attorney.
If you have probate questions
The Collin County probate process looks complicated from afar, but an attorney with experience in Texas estate laws can discuss your unique circumstances, concerns and goals. Texas probate law gives guidance on how to resolve estates through probate court.
But, as a note, not all estates must enter probate. If you have questions about a loved one’s estate, or you want to create a will to assist your loved ones with the estate process, an attorney can advocate for you and give you options for your estate needs.