Must a Will be probated?

UPDATED: Aug 31, 2014

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Must a Will be probated?

My father died 3 years ago and my mother died this year. They didn’t have any money to divide; they lived on social security and my help. They own a house and land and a 9 year old car. They raised a great granddaughter who lives in the house and drives the car. Both of them wanted her to have both of those things. My dad had a few guns that he gave to the grand kids. They have already received them. There are 2 heirs, my brother and myself. Both parents left Wills leaving the property to great granddaughter they raised. Everyone one is in agreement with this. No one in the family has the funds to pay for the probate. How can we transfer the property to the great granddaughter?

Asked on August 31, 2014 under Estate Planning, Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your losses. You are under no legal obligation to probate a Will in Texas. But you have to file something because of the transfer of title to real property.  Some filing is going to be necessary.  Texas has a simpler procedure for this as long as the estate owes no debts.  It is called a “Muniment of Title."  With this procedure, the probate court will give the named executor the legal authority to transfer estate property in accordance with the Last Will.  No estate administration is necessary because there are no creditors of the estate. You can try and apply to have the fees waived.  The Probate clerks are generally very helpful even though they can not give you legal advice. Good luck.

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