Helotes Probate Lawyer

Probate of Will

If someone dies with a will then said will must be ‘probated’ in court in order to obtain ‘letters testamentary’ for the appointed executor of the will to distribute the assets. This can be simple if all the beneficiaries agree. Oftentimes they don’t agree and there are questions of the will’s validity, questions of fraud or coercion and significant litigation can ensue. It is also critical when addressing wills to understand what is and what is not part of the decedent’s (the person who passed away) estate. Some bank accounts, retirement accounts and/or insurance benefits are passed directly and are not part of the probate matter. Additionally, a competent understanding of family law is required especially when dealing with property that may or may not be community property with a surviving spouse.

“I couldn’t have gone through this without Beau’s guidance.  Thank you Beau for helping us with Nana’s will/belongings.”

- Nina B.

Probate of will Frequently Asked Questions

Is my will valid?
Wills have seven requirements in Texas; the will must be in writing, it must be signed, the person making the will must be eighteen or older, of ‘sound mind,’ with ‘testamentary intent.’ You also need two witnesses who sign it in the presence of the person making the will. If you meet these requirements your will is valid.
Can a will be contested?
It absolutely can. People often contest the validity of the will itself. Specifically, they’ll attack the technicalities or they will allege the person was not of ‘sound mind’ when it was done. This often happens when people make last minute changes to their wills in the latter days of their lives.
How long does it take to probate a will?
If the will is clearly valid and there is no contest, this can be done in a matter of months. If the will has flaws and there are challenges, then the timeline can lengthen significantly.
What are letters testamentary?
These are the goal of probating the will. Once the will is admitted to probate and the executor is appointed, the executor receives letters testamentary which they can use to present to financial institutions ect to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries of the will.

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