The process for probating a will in Texas is for the proponent of the will to contact a lawyer to file it for probate with the county clerk. The clerk then post notice of the filing on the courthouse door (usually just a wall in the hallway) and serves process on those entitled to process. If you are not entitled to receive personal service, your notice is the notice that is posted on the courthouse wall. Once filed, the will is a public document and anyone can get a copy. There is no reading of the will.
Usually, after the notice has been posted on the courthouse door for a short period of time, the county judge has a hearing. Some small counties have the hearings very quickly while some larger counties take longer to set the hearing. At the hearing, the judge reviews the application in open court, hears testimony from the proponent of the will that the will is the last will of the decedent and, if no contest has been filed, admits the will to probate by signing an order. When the judge signs the order admitting the will to probate, the statute of limitations start to run on those who oppose the will to challenge the will by filing a will contest. If a person is contesting the will, he must contest it within two years of the date the judge admits the will to probate. It is better practice to file a will contest before the hearing where the judge admits the will to probate. You can also file a will contest before someone else files the will for probate.
With certain exceptions, a will has to be filed for probate within four years of the death of the testator. A will contest must be filed within two years of the date the will was admitted to probate. That is, two years from the date that the judge signed the order admitting the will to probate.
By Robert Ray a Texas inheritance attorney. The foregoing information is general in nature and does not apply to every fact situation. If you are concerned about Texas inheritance laws, inheritance rights, probate limits, have a family inheritance dispute, a property dispute or want to know the reasons for contesting a will or protecting a will from a contest and need an inheritance lawyer, we can help. Please click on the “Contact Us” tab above and use the contact form to contact us today. We are Texas inheritance lawyers and would love to learn about your case. There is no fee for the initial consultation.