WHAT IS PROBATE?
So what is “probate” anyway, you might be asking? This is simply the term used to refer to the process of settling a person’s estate after they have passed away. What does probate require?
- Admitting the will to probate-(this just means that the probate court determines the will is valid).
- Collecting assets of the person who died
- Paying any debts they may have owed
- Distributing the remaining estate to beneficiaries of a Will.
In Texas, there are many, many variations of probate. Some are pretty simple, while others are very complex. At a minimum, it typically takes 3-6 months to complete a simple probate. This type of probate is what’s called an “Independent Administration of the Estate.”
This means that there is very minimal court supervision. The Executor (the person named to serve on behalf of the estate during the probate process by way of the will) is able handle the probate, usually quickly and efficiently. While it is a simpler process, it is still somewhat time consuming, requiring a fair amount of paperwork, reviewing all the various assets involved, how title was held to these assets and determining the executor’s ability to distribute that asset.