How Long Does Probate Stay Open in Texas? A Comprehensive Guide

Probate schedules in Texas can vary significantly, depending on the size and complexity of the estate. If the estate is small or simple, the probate court can often conclude the process within six months. However, there are many cases where the succession can last a year or more, especially when the original will is contested or missing. After the executor submits the will for probate, a hearing must take place 10 days later.

In Texas, this hearing is held on Monday after the 10-day expiration. This delay allows the court to notify the public that the will was submitted for probate. When someone goes through the process of legalizing an estate, they must collect, manage, and distribute the deceased's assets. This process can take quite a while in Texas.

In most cases, estate administration is never shut down and the independent executor pays bills and distributes related assets within one year. No order is issued to formally close the estate. The Texas Probate Code was replaced by the Texas Estate Code. Most of its provisions were simply renumbered and organized in a more logical order. The court noted that these two methods are not the only ways to close a testamentary estate.

The court held that final distribution of the estate's assets, once all debts and lawsuits against the estate have been settled, can also lead to closure of the estate. These rules are still valid today under the rules provided in the Texas Patrimonial Property Code. The rules vary depending on whether the estate is a dependent or independent administration. Most estates in Texas are independent administrations. Article 405.003 states that an independent executor may file a lawsuit for declaratory judgment seeking exoneration of any liability related to previous administration of the estate that has been fully and fairly disclosed. Each distributor of the estate must receive a subpoena personally, except those who have waived citation.

The court can require an independent executor to submit a final account and audit, settle, or approve it. The first option is often called judicial discharge. The second method involves a final report. Section 405.004 states that when all known debts against the estate have been paid and there is no pending litigation, an independent executor can file a closing report or notice of closing with the court. The last method is a closing report. Section 405.006 provides an alternative to closing report which allows you to submit a notice of closure of the estate.

The independent executor must provide a copy of this notice to each distributor and include proof of distribution. Section 405.007 describes effects of filing a closing report or notice of closing an estate. The independent administration of an estate is considered closed 30 days after filing unless an objection is filed within that time frame. This closure ends power and authority of independent executor but does not exempt him from liability for mismanagement or false statements. People dealing with probate, property, or claims must deal directly with distributors and acts of distributors are considered valid and binding. Submission of final report and proof of delivery release guarantees on bail of independent executor.

Closing report or notification of closing an estate serves as legal authority for payments or transfers to distributors who can assert their rights through lawsuit. These provisions provide framework for orderly closure of an independent administration by an independent executor ensuring due accountability and distribution of estate assets. If you are an executor of an estate in Texas and read this information, you may still be wondering how much time you have to close probate estate. The answer is not always clear as it may depend on several factors such as disputes between heirs or size and complexity of farm. A large asset with many assets may take longer to be liquidated than smaller one. Content on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Information presented may not apply to your situation and you should not act accordingly without consulting qualified probate attorney. We recommend that you seek advice from competent attorney with any legal questions you may have.

Your initial consultation with KREIG LLC is free with no complications or obligations. Most probate cases last three to six months but if disputes arise process can take longer. In most cases will can be admitted to probate court in as little as 30-45 days. Some may wonder: How long do you have to legalize will in Texas? Answer is that you only have four years from date of decedent's death to file will with probate court. Generally speaking in Texas executor of will has four years from date of death to request legalization of will. If executor does not file request for probate within that time frame state laws of intestate succession which govern probate without wills will determine how assets are distributed. Please note that if you are involved in legalization of an estate it may be mandatory to hire attorney. Keep up to date with our professional and experienced estate planning, elder law, and probate attorneys at Davidson Law Group. If there is no valid will probate court will appoint trustee who will close estate pay debts and distribute assets when someone dies in Texas and leaves assets that haven't been transferred through other means such as trust or joint tenancy agreement then those assets must go through probate process before they can be distributed according to decedent's wishes. Probate process can be complicated but understanding how long it takes can help you plan accordingly so you don't miss any deadlines or incur any unnecessary costs during process. In conclusion, it's important to understand how long does probate stay open in Texas so you can plan accordingly when dealing with legal matters related to estates and wills.

Kristie Funn
Kristie Funn

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