Article

Common Texas Probate Questions: Do I Have to Use an Attorney to Probate a Will in Texas?

There is no requirement under the Texas probate law that specifies the use of an attorney to probate a will. There are numerous benefits to having an attorney be your family’s guide through probate proceedings, and a trained legal eye can be helpful to an estate of any size.

Many heirs wonder if they will need an attorney to probate a will in Texas. The process is often new and unknown to first-time heirs. Under the Texas probate state law, an attorney is not required to probate a will. However, it is important to note that a probate proceeding is a very detailed process that requires extensive knowledge of the law. For this reason, many people choose to obtain the services of a Texas probate attorney.

Benefits of having a Texas Probate Attorney

Interested parties that are looking to have a will probated in Texas should consider hiring an attorney. The benefits of using a probate attorney include:

  • Making all required appearances in court to discuss the estate with the judge
  • Filing all required Texas probate applications with the court, which includes: the application to probate a will, orders required to admit the will to probate, the inventory, appraisement and list of claims, as well as the application to establish an allowance for family members
  • Catalog and appraise all estate assets so that a proper value can be established
  • Prepare and send out notices to the creditors of the estate, which includes putting the notice in several newspapers for public reference
  • Make arguments to the courts when necessary
  • And much more.

Without help from an attorney to probate a will in Texas, you would be responsible for all of these tasks, as well as having to manage your daily personal commitments.

Steps in the Texas Probate Process

The Texas probate code guides Texas probate attorneys with the specific steps for navigating through the probate process. Each of the following steps will occur:

  • The will is filed with the court and proved to be valid or invalid.
  • The court appoints a person to administer the estate.
  • The court takes note of the property listed in the decedent’s estate.
  • Formal determination of the decedent’s heirs
  • Creditors are given the opportunity to file a claim on any debts owed
  • Assets are distributed to the beneficiaries listed in the will
  • Court resolves any disputes over asset allocation.

An experienced probate attorney can provide you with a positive probate experience. An estate’s heirs are more likely to receive their warranted share when the wishes of the decedent are carried out as outlined in their will. Using the services of a probate attorney streamlines the Texas probate process.