If you intend to draft a will, you should first know that a probate court must review it before your loved ones can receive any property listed within. Some people may not like this idea, but without a will, you could be leaving the distribution of your property up to chance.
By that, we mean that without a will, upon your passing, a court may end up distributing your belongings to family and friends. This means that certain individuals won’t be getting that certain item you wanted for them to inherit.
Below, we’ll be going over three common questions that most people have about probate court. Our probate attorneys in McAllen hope that answering them sheds some light on this very serious and sometimes complicated topic.
What is Probate Court?
Every county in Texas has a probate court and judge who ensures that your will is legally valid before allowing an executor to distribute the items listed within it to your loved ones. There are two main types of wills:
- A holographic will is written and needs no witnesses.
- An attested will is typically typewritten and may require two or more witnesses over 19 years old who are not beneficiaries.
How Does the Probate Process Start?
The probate process starts when a loved one files your will for probate. It must have been completed within four years of your passing. If not, a probate judge will not have to recognize it and can order the court to distribute your belongings to family and friends instead. This is why we urge you to update your will occasionally, even for the smallest change.
Is Drafting a Will Necessary?
Although no one is legally required to draft a will and go through the probate process, there are several upsides in doing so. As we mentioned before, creating a will allows you to distribute your property to those you want. You can also:
- Put monetary gifts in trusts so your loved ones won’t be responsible for any debt you owe.
- Choose heirs other than family.
Draft Your Will with Our Help
Contact our probate attorneys in McAllen for more information about drafting a will, the probate process, or what to expect in probate court!