Probate litigation cases are matters that arise due to disputes on the property of a deceased person. They include inheritance disputes, contested wills, real estate mismanagement cases, partnership and shareholder disputes, and much more. These cases are very complex and sometimes take years to settle. If you live in Texas, there are fundamental issues you need to know about probate in Texas.
What a probate court does
Probate is a legal proceeding through which a court determines pertinent issues related to the property of the deceased such as determining the validity of a will. If the deceased did not leave one, the probate court has to establish the legal heirs or appoint an administrator over the property.
If some of the bereaved persons are minors or incapacitated, the probate court puts them under guardianship and supervises it. The courts also oversee the administration of the deceased real estates. Probate courts also handle cases that involve charitable trusts, eminent domains, and civil mental health commitments.
How to probate a will
First, find a certified lawyer to apply to this effect at a Texas probate court. You then have to wait for 14 days for the hearing of your application to commence. According to the Texas estates, once the application is received, the county clerk will put up a notice at the courthouse notifying any interested parties of the application. Any person who has an issue with the will should come forth before the period specified on the notice.
Once the period is elapsed and no one opposes the will, the probate court goes ahead to conduct a hearing. The hearing is carried out to determine that the decedent is dead and recognize the court's jurisdiction on the case. A probate judge will then decide if the will left by the deceased is valid and the applicant is qualified to be its executor.
Must you have an attorney to probate a will?
Whoever probates a will is by implication representing others other than oneself. Consequently, you cannot apply to probate a will unless you are a licensed attorney. Otherwise, the court will deny the application on the grounds of legal malpractice. However, you must not be a lawyer to be an executor, guardian or administrator of the deceased's estate. Even then you still need an attorney because you are acting on behalf of others.
If the deceased did not leave a will
This case involves multiple variables that only an experienced attorney can untwine and successfully take you through it. The only wise option is to get an experienced attorney to make this complicated thing easier.