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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 5 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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