When Texas residents find themselves facing the probate process for the first time, they can understandably be a bit overwhelmed. After all, most people hardly have any contact with the judicial system at all, let alone in a process that could determine how a loved one’s property will be distributed to heirs and beneficiaries. Getting the right information about the probate process can help take away some of the mystery surrounding these legal proceedings.
So, for starters, what is “probate”? Probate is the process in which there is an accounting and scrutiny of a deceased person’s assets and debts. Subsequently, debts are paid off and assets are distributed. For many people, the probate process can be, for the most part, followed in line with the expectations and desires as directed in the deceased person’s will. However, some people die without a valid will, in which case state law determines the distribution of the deceased person’s estate.
The probate process is often straightforward, if there are no problems to address and the deceased person’s estate plan is clear. However, sometimes, problems can arise. For example, someone might challenge the validity of a will or ownership of certain assets. Under such circumstances, the probate process can drag on for longer than anyone would like.
If you are facing the probate process in Texas for the first time, it is a good idea to get the most accurate information about your own particular situation. Doing so could help you navigate what can often be a tricky legal scenario.