THE CONTENT IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY REGARDING LEGAL QUESTIONS.
Probating an Estate ProSe - (without an attorney)
You will need to file an Application and the original will. the will becomes a permanent part of the Clerk's records and will not be returned. After filing the Application, the clerk will give you a "return date". It is after this date that you will be allowed to return for your hearing. The clerk will also provide you with the Cause Number, the Court and phone numbers for each Court Coordinator. It is your responsibility to contact the Court Coordinator in order to set up your hearing date.
Probate hearings usually take place in the courtroom and only takes a few minutes. The Judge will swear you in, ask a few questions and then make a decision if the will is to be admitted to probate. You will need to have available an Order for the Judge's signature.
After leaving the courtroom, you will return to the probate office where you will then sign the Proof of Death (and Oath, if necessary). It is after you have completed these steps that you will be issued letters and/or certified copies of the will and order.
Frequently Asked Questions About Probating an Estate ProSe:
Is it necessary to probate an estate and how long do I have to probate?
If there are assets such as real estate, stocks and bonds, bank accounts, etc., that must be distributed, it is usually required that an estate is probated. The estate must be probated within four (4) years of the date of death.
Do I need an attorney?
The law does not require that an attorney be involved.
Where do I get the forms?
Forms are available in the Law Library on the third floor of the Courthouse and can be found in the book entitled "How to Probate an Estate in Texas" by Karen Ann Rolick.
What are the different ways to probate?
If there is a will, you may probate as a Muniment of Title, Letters Testamentary, or Administration with Will Annexed.
Please see "Probate Fees" tab for a list of fees related to probate filings.