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Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

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Required notice to beneficiaries of a will

When people in Texas pass away their property will be distributed to their family members as is determined by a statute. However, sometimes people do not want all their property to go in equal shares to their children, their siblings or others as determined by the statute. People can control where their property goes though. This can be accomplished by drafting a will. In the will people can give their property in different shares to different people depending on the relationships they had with various people throughout their lives.

The people who receive the property are referred to as beneficiaries. However, many beneficiaries have not seen the will and do not know what property or amount of the estate they may receive. That is why wills also name personal representatives. These individuals are responsible for reviewing the will, gathering the deceased’s assets, and then distributing them to the proper beneficiaries. One of the first jobs of the personal representative is to notify the beneficiaries.

They must notify every beneficiary they can locate through reasonable diligence within 60 days of the will being admitted in probate court. They must continue their efforts as well and notify any beneficiaries they find after 60 days. The notice must contain the deceased’s name, state that the will has been admitted into court, that the person is a named beneficiary, the personal representative’s contact information and a copy of the will or a summary of the gifts under the will and court information for the probate matter.

Many wills go through probate every year in Texas. These wills have named beneficiaries that eventually will receive the property granted to them through the will. However, first they must be notified that they are beneficiaries and must receive a copy of the will or information on the gifts in the will. Probate can be a long and complicated process though and consulting with an experienced attorney could be beneficial.