If my mother passed away just without a Will, once we get the letters testamentary can we probate her estate?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If my mother passed away just without a Will, once we get the letters testamentary can we probate her estate?

There was no Will found. My brothers and sisters had a family meeting about who will be listed as a personal representative on behalf of my mother. She had assets such as vehicles, properties, and a bank account that is now frozen. I was told that in order to get access to anything we have to have a letter of testamentary now once we have that letter do we still need a lawyer to have access to the titles, the property, and vehicle or is the letter of testamentary all we need.

Asked on January 26, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It may or may not be sufficient.  The need to probate depends on the value of the estate.  If this is a relatively small estate, then this should be your last step.  If this is a larger estate, then you will need to probate the estate.  Before you take any final actions, at least arrange a consult with a probate attorney to make sure that your letters are in or order and that you don't need a probate.  At this point, you just need a consult to make sure that you are on the right track.  When you meet with an attorney, make sure that you take with you a good estimate of the value of the estate so that they can properly advise you on this issue.

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