What Is Probate?

Probate is the legal process of identifying a deceased person’s estate and dividing it between beneficiaries. In Texas, this action is simpler than most other states due to something known as ‘independent administration.’

Independent Administration of an Estate

If a loved one left their family with a will, there should be a named executor of the estate. This person canpursue independent administration of the estate; which is an easier, faster, and less expensive option than traditional avenues.

With independent administration, an executor does not have to:

  • post a bond (an insurance policy that protects the estate from any losses caused by an executor’s actions); or
  • ask the court for permission to take any steps that will settle the estate (paying debts, setting aside funds for family members, selling property, or distributing assets to beneficiaries).

The executor must still publish a notice to possible creditors and file the inventory of assets with a court. The executor is also responsible for gathering and holding all assets until they can be transferred to their assigned owners.

An executor is entitled to a commission (or fee) of 5% of the funds the estate receives and pays. Only financial transactions that are directly involved with estate management are counted.

Muniment of a Title

The process of title muniment is a simple and inexpensive way to transfer estate property when there is a will.

Muniment can be used when there:

  • is a valid will;
  • are no open debts (except real estate); or
  • can be no claim from Medicaid for benefit recovery.

To begin this process, a person must file the will and request to probate the will as a muniment. If the probate court determines there is no need for a probate administration, the will becomes a document for transferring assets to the appropriate parties.

With muniment, a court does not appoint an administrator or executor. However, the person who requested the action is required to file an affidavit within 6 months stating that the terms of the will have been carried out accordingly.

Small Estate Affidavits

An affidavit is a written document that states the facts of a legal issue and is signed by all parties involved. If there is no valid will and the value of a probate estate is $75,000 at most, beneficiaries can prepare a simple affidavit to collect their property.

Trusted Probate Attorneys

Our compassionate attorneys understand how emotionally challenging the probate process can be. We will work closely with you and your family to create a favorable outcome.

Contact our firm online or give us a call at (817) 374-4056 for a complimentary consultation.
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