World Executives Digest | What Should You Understand About Probate Estate Laws in Houston? | Houston is the fourth most populous city in the country, with an estimated population of about 2,350,000. Recent studies suggest that the city will have over $60 billion worth inherited property in the next 25 years. The probate estate law in Houston adheres to the Texas Estate Code, which is effective from 1st Jan 2014.
Houston is one of the most liberal cities in the country when it comes to the probate process. However, you should hire a probate estate attorney in Houston while dealing with probate property.
What is Probate?
Probate in Houston is a Court procedure to prove the validity of a will.
Houston is aligned with the Texas probate process to collect a decedent’s assets and settle taxes. The executor manages these tasks, along with the distribution of property to heirs.
Elements in an Estate Administration
The probate administration of a decedent’s estate includes identifying the assets of the estate and paying off all the debts owed by the decedent at the time of death. The other significant aspect is the distribution of remaining assets among the beneficiaries, according to a valid will. Also, the administration includes minor elements like settling third-party claims on the estate.
In Houston, more than 80% of estates probated have independent administration. Texas Law permits the individual to prepare a will to include the provision for independent estate administration upon their death.
Proving the Validity of Will
When your close relative passes away, you need to notify the court to open a probate case. You will have to submit a valid will and necessary supporting documents to initiate the court proceedings.
Nearly 81% of the probate cases in Houston have all stakeholders on the same page, with or without a valid will.
In case of no valid will, the probate code demands separate witnesses, like family friends of the deceased, who are not inheriting from the property.
Notifying Creditors and Heirs
You will have to report to all heirs that you are initiating a probate case after your relative has passed away. If there are unknown heirs, then the probate court in Houston states that you will have to put up a notice in the newspaper.
Also, filing taxes for your deceased relative is an essential step while managing probate.
In Houston, as per Texas probate taxes, the state does not levy any inheritance taxes. However, there is a 40% federal tax on estates worth over $5.3 million in value.
Probate Process is Time-Consuming
In Houston, generally, the process takes a minimum of 30 days to several years, depending on the complexity of the case. Explicit rules state where and when the probate process should initiate.
For instance, with a valid will document, it should be submitted to the court within four years from the date of death. Likewise, filing of an estate in Houston should be in Harris, Fort Bend, or Montgomery counties.
In Houston, if the estate is worth more than $50,000 and with multiple beneficiaries, the Texas probate process becomes tedious. Space City offers over 100 reputed law firms. Consult a top-notch probate estate attorney in Houston, so that you complete the probate process hassle-free.