Depending on the situation, it usually takes about six months to a year for a will to be probated. The court system regulates this process, and many factors can affect how long it takes. These include:
- Whether or not there is a surviving spouse who wishes to challenge or contest the validity of the will;
- The number of heirs who wish to challenge the will;
- Any related lawsuits that you must resolve first before probate proceedings can begin.
It’s important to understand that the court is concerned with making sure a valid will exists and determining who would have been the legal heirs under Texas law if there were no will. The time for probate in Texas can be found here in detail.
The Probate System
Texas follows a probate system. For example, if a man dies without a will and has two children, his estate must go through probate before the distribution commences.
If, however, he has a wife and children from another relationship, there can sometimes be confusion over which family is legally entitled to the assets in the estate.
If the Will Names an Executor
Suppose the man’s will names his wife as executor (heir) or personal representative (executor). In that case, she may be able to ask the court for an “order of protection,” which will prevent anyone from taking or transferring any of the property in the estate until she can resolve this situation.
If There is No Surviving Spouse
If there is no surviving spouse and all heirs are listed in the will, The court may initiate probate proceedings quickly after death. Estate planning disputes are unlikely in this circumstance.
This may depend on whether or not any heirs are minors or incompetent, which can cause delays. If one or more heirs are challenging the validity of the will, it may take even longer.’
Understand Your Requirements
Be sure to know what’s in your own will. If you want to make any changes, it’s essential to update your will accordingly.
- In addition, as mentioned above, there can be a significant delay caused by legal challenges from those who would otherwise inherit under Texas law if the deceased were to die without a will.
- The length of time varies according to other factors discussed above, but also on how complicated the assets need to be probated.
When Will This Process Begin (And End)?
The duration can vary depending on whether or not a surviving spouse wishes to challenge or contest the will’s validity; i.e., if so, there may be more delays. The time for probate in Texas can be found here.
The length of time also depends on the number of heirs who wish to challenge the will and whether any related lawsuits need to be resolved first before probate proceedings can begin. Early planning may help prevent will and other estate-related family conflicts and disputes.
An experienced Texas estate planning attorney can educate you on the State’s estate planning laws and help you navigate the process. Texas is home to around 29,145,500 residents. If you are a Texas resident, it is recommended you carry out estate planning at the earliest.