What is probate?

Probate laws differ from state to state; but overall, probate is the process of transferring the property and belongings of a person who has died to their heirs. It is often mistaken to be a lengthy, expensive or complicated process. However, the probate system is intended to ensure that assets are transferred easily and safely against false claims. Moreover, in Texas, probate can be very simple if you leave a properly drafted will.

The state of Texas is not interested in tying up your assets. Indeed, probate isn't even mandatory in Texas. Most banks and other institutions will not release assets or funds to the heirs of the account owner in lieu of liability concerns. An order from a probate court will protect them from this liability. The Texas probate system is designed to help the rightful heirs obtain such an order as easily as possible, while still preventing fraud by impostors.

Texas, which has led the charge in simplifying the probate process, sees nearly eighty percent of its probate cases handled through Independent Administration; requiring only one court hearing and the filing of an inventory of assets. This often can be completed within three months if no estate tax return needs to be filed.

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