What is probate and how does it affect the execution of a will? Probate is the first step in the legal process where an estate of a deceased person is administered. During probate, claims are resolved and the deceased person's assets are distributed according to their will. The first step is for the probate court (surrogate court) to determine if a will is authentic and legally enforceable, the next step is to officially appoint an executor who is typically the person named in the will. The court gives the executor or personal representative the authority and legal power to dispose of the deceased person's estate in accordance with the directions laid forth in the will.
Under Texas PB. CODE ANN. §94: Texas Statutes: Section 94, it states that with the exception of foreign wills, no will shall be effectual until probated. No will shall be effective for the purpose of proving title to, or the right of possession of any real or personal property disposed by the will until the will has been admitted to probate.
Under Section 93 of the Texas Statutes, it notes that after a will has been admitted to probate, anyone who is interested may commence a lawsuit in the proper court to contest the validity of the will, within two years after the will has been admitted to probate, and not afterwards. The only exception is when the interested party wishes to commence a suit to cancel a will for forgery or fraud within two years of the discovery of the fraud, and no later.
At the Marina Legal Group, PLLC, we are intimately familiar with Texas probate laws and how they will affect our clients' estates and plans for wealth distribution. Since these laws can be complicated and ambiguous, it's important to have a Texas estate planning attorney by your side helping you draft a legally sound instrument, one that will minimize the tax consequences of your estate and your heirs. To learn more about how an estate plan can protect you and your loved ones, contact our firm today to schedule your free case evaluation.