For those who have never lost a loved one, going through the Texas probate process for the first time can seem endless. Surviving family members often just want closure, which may include selling property, dividing mementos and claiming their share of the estate. Even a simple estate can take several months to a year to pass through probate, but certain factors can quickly bring that process to a grinding halt.
Probate involves several steps, including taking an inventory of the assets, locating all the heirs, dealing with creditors and paying any outstanding state or federal taxes. In many cases, these steps proceed quickly, sometimes simultaneously. However, if the estate is especially large, contains unusual assets that are difficult to valuate, or contains assets in different states or countries, heirs can expect the process to take longer while the court and the executor deal with these issues.
Any conflicts among heirs can create havoc during the probate process. An heir who is dissatisfied with his or her inheritance or who questions the actions of the executor may insist on litigation. Of course, if the deceased left no will or estate plan, the probate process may be considerably more complicated.
Probate often involves numerous legal issues. It can be helpful for those with an interest in the outcome to seek the assistance of a legal professional who has experience in all aspects of probate and probate disputes. A skilled attorney can help to guide loved ones smoothly through the Texas probate process and deal effectively with any conflicts that arise.