Kevin Mark Klughart


Patent Attorney / Engineer


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Estate Planning Timeline


How long does probate take to complete?

This 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 addressed:

Filing 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.

Appearance 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.

Marshalling the assets of the decedent's estate and preparing an inventory that is filed with the Court.

Paying priority claims against the estate (funeral, medical expenses, etc.).

Issuing 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.

Waiting for the expiration of the 120 day claims window and then distributing estate assets to cover these claims and bequests within the Will.

Miscellaneous 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.

If this 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.



Contact Information:

Kevin Mark Klughart

Registered Patent Attorney, USPTO

3825 Leisure Lane, Denton, TX 76210-5589

tel: 800-353-1211 / 940-320-0580  -  fax 940-320-0581   email  -  web

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