How long does probate take to complete?
depends heavily on whether the deceased has a Will, the contents of the estate,
and the domicile of the decedent. Generally speaking, however, for a Will
probated in Texas the following checklist is a minimum of items that should be
the original will with the appropriate district/probate court and setting
a hearing for the application for probate. This hearing can usually
be scheduled within one month of the death of the decedent.
at a probate hearing of the executor and any persons named as
beneficiaries in the Will. Appearance of beneficiaries can be waived
with appropriate paperwork and notices. Filing an Executor's oath
and obtaining a Letters Testamentary to empower the Executor to act on
behalf of the decedent in executing the instructions in the Will.
the assets of the decedent's estate and preparing an inventory that is
filed with the Court.
priority claims against the estate (funeral, medical expenses, etc.).
public notice (via newspaper) to notify any persons who may have claims
against the estate. The statute of limitations on recovery is 120
days from this public notice.
for the expiration of the 120 day claims window and then distributing
estate assets to cover these claims and bequests within the Will.
housekeeping items such as obtaining duplicate Letters Testamentary,
duplicate death certificates, notification of Social Security regarding
decedent's death, canceling credit cards, forwarding mail, notification of
professional licensing organizations, filing final IRS tax returns, filing
annual estate tax returns, filing final estate tax returns, etc. can occur
at any time during this process.
process is addressed in a diligent manner, the entire probate process can be
completed well within six months after the date of death. Additional items
involving final asset distributions and tax returns may run into the next
calendar year depending on the actual date of death.