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In Texas, once a will is filed with the probate court, how long before probate actually takes place? Is there a time limit?

Sugar Land, TX |

How long can they draw it out before it has to go to probate, isn't there a time limit?

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

Minimum time is as follows: once the application is filed the clerk "posts" a notice of the probate and a hearing can be held on the Monday ten days following the posting of the notice. So, it is a very quick fuse. Contested cases can take years.

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Posted

This is a question better answered by the atty for the estate, if you are a distributee under the will.

Legal disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted to practice law in the State of Missouri only, and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to Missouri. This answer is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation, and is for promotional purposes only. You should never rely on this answer alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship. less

Posted

The "prove-up" hearing on an application to probate a Will and appoint an Independent Executor cannot occur sooner than the Monday following 10 days after the date the clerk posts the notice (which is usually the same day it is filed with the court). How soon after the expiration of that period a hearing actually occurs can vary depending on a lot of things: how busy the court's docket is; availability of the applicant; availability of the applicant's lawyer; availability of any witnesses (normally there aren't any witnesses beyond the applicant). But, if the probate involves a dependent administration (where there is no Will) or where there are any contested issues, then it could be several weeks or months longer.

DISCLAIMER: This is not specific legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.

Posted

I agree with the other responses, but I would add that, having the Will filed with the probate court does not actually guarantee that there will be an estate opened, at all. Most states require the Will to be filed with the court, following the testator's death. But if there are no probate assets, then probate will not be necessary and the Will would never be admitted to probate. If there were assets titled in the decedent's name alone, then probate will be necessary. If the assets were all joint or had beneficiaries designated, then those assets would bypass probate, (and the Will).

Your summary does not include enough information to determine whether there will be a probate in your situation or not.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.

Asker

Posted

The will leaves my mother's house to one granddaughter. There are 4 surviving children, my mother left the land and the house to all 4 children in a gift deed back in 2007. The gift deed was filed with the courthouse and is legal. Don't we need for probate to take place in order to determine who the house belongs to? Three of us say the house belongs to us because of the gift deed, the fourth sister, who is the mother of the granddaughter the house was left to, says it belongs to the granddaughter. The will was filed with the probate court on Sep 6, I thought I read somewhere that something would happen within 60 days of that.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

What I think needs to happen is that you need to have the Deed reviewed by an attorney to determine its effect. If the deed conveyed your mother's entire interest in the home, there is nothing left to pass under the Deed. At the very least, you need to know the effect of the Deed.

Asker

Posted

I have actually had the deed looked at by the attorney that drew up the will (ironically, he is the same attorney that drew up the gift deed in 2007) and an additional attorney in the same city. I get different answers - the deed conveys all the land and all improvements to the four daughters equally. One attorney says that improvements mean the house and the barn, the other attorney says it's a gray area because even though the house has been a permanent fixture for 30 years it is technically a manufactured home, even though it has permanent built on porches front and back, etc. So obviously that one sister is not in a big hurry for probate to take place, it could very well take the house away from her daughter. She she was the one with the power of attorney during mom's last year of life, she is the one that had my mom draw up the will. But since the will has been filed with the court, is there any way I can get them to probate it or can they just sit on it for years???

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

The manufactured home would appear to be part of the estate, whether it is considered part of the real estate or not. Since no one is apparently pushing this, someone needs to step up and do so. This would normally be the executor. If the executor is the sister whose daughter is living on the property, which seems likely, she appears to have a conflict of interest. Someone else can petition to become executor or at least to petition the court for direction on what needs to be done. You should consult with an attorney to determine how best to proceed.