Do I need to go through probate?

UPDATED: Aug 21, 2011

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Do I need to go through probate?

My mother just died last week. Her income was only SS and VA benefits. She received Medicare and Medicaid. Her bank accounts less than $700; she had 2 insurance policies for burial. She had a Will filed at the county court house and I’m named executor. I’m also named on both bank accounts.

Asked on August 21, 2011 Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is a proceeding available in TX to deal with "small estates" in a situation in which the size of an estate simply does not warrant a formal probate.  This procedure allows for the distribution of a small estates via an affidavit.  While this procedure is only allowed in the case where a person dies without a Will (your situation),

Note: It is not appropriate if there is real property in the estate, unless the real property is the homestead of the decedent. 

Additionally, since your name was on the bank accounts, you can take them over as a matter of law; joint accounts do not become part of the deceased's estate.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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