The probate process governs how a Texas estate will be distributed among its heirs. The executor of a Texas estate will generally have a four-year time frame in which to begin the probate process. If no will is filed in probate within that time, the court will divide the estate according to state intestacy laws -- meaning that the probate process will treat the estate like no will ever existed.
In most probate cases, the will is filed before a full year has passed following the death of the estate's owner. After filing the will, a waiting period of about two weeks must pass before the first probate hearing. This delay allows the court to publicly announce that the will has been filed, which gives potential heirs a chance to make claims against the estate.
The executor of the estate must provide notice to creditors and beneficiaries that the probate process has begun. The executor will have a month to notify creditors of the estate and two months to notify beneficiaries. The executor must also notify the court that notice has been given to the beneficiaries.
All in all, the probate process can take varying amounts of time to complete, depending on the complexity and size of the Texas estate involved. Furthermore, if any creditors or beneficiaries file special claims against the estate it could result in a longer and more costly probate process. At the Law Office of Sharon C. Stodghill, our goal is always to try to reduce the time and costs associated with probate proceedings. We know that this is not an easy process for anyone, and the simpler the process is made, the better it is for all parties involved.