What is the Legal Process During Probate?
As soon as you go to a lawyer and hire a lawyer, the first thing that the lawyer’s going to have you do is start gathering some information for that lawyer. The legal process starts, however, with the filing of an application. When that application is filed, there are notice requirements that need to be met and that is so the court will have jurisdiction to actually hear the case. Those are taken care of and a hearing is set. Now, when you go to that hearing, you kind of come to a Y in the road.
If your Will calls for an independent administration, which is available in Texas, you will have a hearing, you will be appointed as the personal representative to represent that estate, and that’s the last time you’re going to go to court in most cases.
The other road that you go down is if you have a Will that doesn’t call for the administration to be independent or if there is no Will, the probate is established by the court as a dependent administration. The dependent administration is going to be a situation where you will go, get the Will (estate) entered into probate and you will be appointed as the personal representative of the estate. And then you will have a certain number of steps that you will have to do, come back to court to get either orders signed or approval before you can finalize the process. Now, when you go to court, you get appointed. There are things that you have to do to get qualified. And you have to be appointed and qualified before you can get your letters from the court, which is the document that gives you the authority to go and be the personal representative for that estate.
Every estate is a little different. The history of the deceased, both in the family history and their financial history, is going to make every estate slightly different. That comes into the information gathering that you were doing for your attorney. An experienced attorney is going to be able to then take that information and get you down the right path.
This video is part of a series on Wills and Probate. Click the links below to view more videos in this series.