Is Probate a Complex Process?

Home » Blog » Is Probate a Complex Process?

Probate is often more of an inconvenience or mild delay than a complex process. Often the people involved are disappointed because there is very little that they can do during the process. For many, it’s simply a matter of waiting. However, there are situations that lead to complex cases that end in arguments, multiple Houston probate attorneys being involved, and disagreements within the family.

Working with complex probate can be exhausting. It also comes at an exceptionally terrible time. While you’re trying to bounce back and regain your normal routine after suffering a loss, you have to deal with this unfamiliar legal path. Don’t worry, take a breath, and get a little familiar with the process of going through probate.

Entering Probate with a Will

When there is a will, the goal is to avoid probate entirely, but that doesn’t always happen. With probate in Texas, the idea is that it’s the only purpose is to resolve disputes and handle the exchange of real estate property.

There are certain elements in motion when a person submits a petition because the will should stand as the most important document. The will represents the desires of the deceased, and when people don’t agree with it, it quickly becomes a complex matter.

What happens when you enter probate, and there’s already a will the entire estate is put into a hold. The executor will move all the assets, including real estate, into a bank account. During a two-week period, there will be a movement for the estate. Meaning that no debt will be paid out of the account, and no one will receive anything from the will during that time.

After the two-week period, the executor and a judge will go through the petition or dispute and make a decision for the estate.

Entering Probate Without a Will

When there is no will in Texas, the state puts an emphasis on passing the estate on to the heirs directly. The goal of the state is to avoid bringing a family into probate court altogether. So what happens is the state identifies the heirs and will distribute the value of the estate evenly or in proportion to the relationship. For example, a surviving child would receive more than a surviving sibling.

However, probate will begin when there isn’t a will, but there is real estate. With real estate, the transfer of ownership needs to go through a more complex handling process. That means involving probate court and, if necessary, Houston probate attorneys. 

Resolving Your Petition

If you filed a petition and entered the estate into probate, the process does become a little more complex. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you simply don’t have much control over what happens with the final decision.

You can work with a probate attorney to state your case on why something should or should not change within a will. For example, if a person was recently disowned from a family for excessive drug use and failure to obtain the help, they may argue for alternate resolution.

Ultimately the final decision will be made for you. The biggest complexity that you might need to face is filing the paperwork for your petition appropriately.

Will You Need to “Prove” Your Petition?

During the first hearing, you probably won’t need to make an appearance. But afterward, you’ll need to go through the will’s validity. Proving the will’s validity is usually the top priority. You want to make sure that it was signed by the minimum number of witnesses, notarized, and so forth.

In the event that the will is not valid, it will often still serve as a frame of reference during probate. It is still seen as the last wish of the person who is no longer here to speak on their own behalf. But, an attorney may argue that some changes are necessary for the best interest of the estate.

How Can Houston Probate Attorneys Help?

Probate can be exceptionally simple or extraordinarily complex. The level of complexity matters on the people, and they will involve. If the family enters probate only because there was not a will, but property involved, then you may not have much to worry about at all.

Now, when you delve into complex probate processes, what should be a simple two or three-week event can take weeks or months. What you should do is schedule a consultation with a Houston, Texas probate law firm. A probate attorney can help represent your interests, file a petition, and guide you and your family through the probate process.