Your Options Regarding Texas Probate
Some assets can be dealt with in Texas without probate having been granted. For example, depending on the terms on which they were held, some real estate, bank accounts, annuities or life insurance fall into this category. If appropriate, avoiding an application for probate will save money for the beneficiaries.
If probate is necessary, there are a number of different probate applications which may be considered:
Independent administration enables the executor to undertake many of his or her responsibilities independent of court supervision. This can speed up the process and reduce costs.
However, in some circumstances, dependent administration will be more suitable. This requires court supervision of each of the executor’s actions. It may, however, result in higher costs to the estate (and therefore less for the beneficiaries).
Muniment of Title
Muniment of Title is unique to Texas. In certain circumstances, particularly when dealing with real estate, it can offer a quicker and more cost effective solution. However, as it is so unique to Texas we find that many other attorneys do not understand the system and restrict us from using it. For example, when dealing with large banks, headquartered in New York, the bank’s in-house attorneys rarely accept Muniment of Title.
Do I Need a Probate Lawyer?
Texas probate law is complicated. It also imposes a number of obligations on executors of estates. If you are handling a Texas estate and inadvertently fail to meet one or more of your obligations, you may face significant legal consequences. Because of this, the local rules of most Texas probate courts require that a person applying for probate or applying to administer an estate without a Will must be represented by an attorney.
As outlined above, there are also a number of ways in which probate may be handled in Texas. The best approach for one estate may not be appropriate for another. Taking the wrong approach may cost the estate and delay the distribution of assets significantly.