I Have the Will, Now What Do I Do?

LastWillAs a Houston Probate Attorney, one of the most common issues I encounter relates to family members not knowing what to do with a will once their loved one has passed on. Understandably, discussing the proper steps handling a loved one’s estate is rarely discussed amongst family members before the loved one passes away. Here are a few things to consider when your loved one has died and left a will behind:

1. Consult with a Probate Attorney. In Texas, probate laws are unique and ever-changing. It is difficult for an attorney who is unexperienced in probate to efficiently and effectively advise you on the best course of action as it relates to your deceased loved one’s estate. A probate attorney will help you to best navigate your particular situation and ensure everything is done correctly.

2. Have the Will Admitted into Probate. Your attorney will likely advise you to initiate the probate process as soon as practicable. In Texas, a decedent’s will must be probated within 4 years of his or her death, absent extraordinary circumstances. However, in order to access or transfer title to certain assets of your deceased loved one, having his or her will admitted to probate is required.

3. If you know someone in possession of your loved one’s will and either refuses to let you see the will, or initiate the probate process, consult with a probate attorney on how to “get the ball rolling.”

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