Losing a loved one is one of the worst feelings that we will all have to face and experience at some point in our lives. Knowing that you will have to adapt to the new life, figure out and deal with what was left behind by the person tends to add more salt to the injury. Complication comes in when you want to transfer the deceased real estate, land or other assets to a new name. It will be at this point that the concept of probate comes in. Probate can said to be the legal or official way that an estate under supervision of the court gets settled.
If there is no will, the court appoints the surviving spouse or the adult child to take charge. The appointed person will be known as the personal representative or the executor. He / She will duly have the legal authority to gather the estates and value them, pay bills, taxes and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries ultimately.
After death, probate’s main purpose is to prevent fraud from people. Some human beings can be considered to be peculiar animals as they can come and start claiming things that are not theirs and hence end up stealing. Freezing of the estate has to take place until the Will is determined that its valid through the judges. All relevant people have to be notified, estate identified, bills paid and taxes sorted out. The court will then have to issue an order of distributing the property once the above is achieved and the case then comes to a closure.
One thing that distinguishes Texas from other states is that: Texas has two kinds of formal probates and other simpler transfer procedures. They include:
This probate happens to be the best as it is seen to be quicker, less expensive and simpler as compared to dependent administration. Regardless of whether there exists a will or not, the executor can request authority from the court to act as an independent executor on condition that all beneficiaries come to an agreement to that. This will mean that the executor:
· Will not have to ask permission from the court before advancing many sequential steps in settling the estate such as selling the estate property, setting family allowance aside, paying debts and distributing assets to the inheritors.
· Will not have to post an insurance bond that will protect the estate from executor’s carelessness and dishonest acts.
It will be the role of the independent executor to publish notice to potential creditors and still file inventory of the assets with the court. He /she must safeguard and collect estate assets till time comes to transfer to the owners.
A commission fee of around 5% of all the money that the estate pays it and receives is entitled to the independent executor.
This happens to be less common. Executors have the right of requesting dependent administration but this comes in handy with a greater court supervision in the whole probate procession.
Muniment of Title
When there is a will, this process happens to be an inexpensive and simple way of transferring assets. Apart from the will, other conditions include;
· All debts paid except those secured by real estate
· Medicaid not claiming against estate for benefits recovery having been received by the deceased.
It will require a person to file a will and request to probate the will as a muniment of title with probate court for this process to begin. The court will not appoint an administrator or the executor but instead, the person requesting probate and be the muniment title will have to file an affidavit with the court within 6 months stating categorically, the terms that the will have been carried out.
Small Estate Affidavits
In cases that there is no will, and probate estate is estimated to be at most $50,000, inheritors or beneficiaries will not really need to open a probate court proceeding or even think of using the muniment of title but can just prepare a small simple affidavit to take the property.
Small Estate Procedures
This can come in perfectly well in instances where the property value does not exceed the amount needed to pay creditors and the family allowances. The executor will just be needed to show where the estate bucks went through an accounting and the court then approves and closes the estate. If illness and funeral expenses are paid and remaining assets then don’t exceed family allowance amount, the court will issue an order of no administration. The court will go ahead and assign to the surviving spouse and minor children the estate houses.
Depending on the estate size, if an estate happens to fall below a certain threshold, it is considered as a small estate and this will not require settlement by court supervision.
Secondly, its good to also iron out that not all assets will be subject to probate. At death of an owner, without probate intervention, some assets will be automatically transferred. For instance, lets take a case scenario of a join tenancy. Assuming John and Mary co-own a house and John dies, without the need of a court order, the surviving colleague who is Mary will be the owner of the entire house. This is better known as the right of survivorship.
A probate in Texas will involve the owners and beneficiaries of the house which is also classified as part of the estate to go through the whole court process. Depending on the beneficiaries’ choices, they can decide to go through the dependent administration process, independent administration process within the court or the other simple processes to claim their assets.
In cases where the whole probate process has completed successfully with no objections or cases, the beneficiaries and heirs will successfully acquire their assets. You could be lucky maybe as the last-born child or first-born child to acquire the family home or even just another house that could be owned by your loved one such as parent, brother or sister. The challenge comes in if maybe you married, have another family house and you want to do away with the inherited house. You can also opt to sell your house so that you can purchase another asset. If you located in San Antonio Texas, before selling out your house, consider visiting us or giving us a call first. We have great offers and we will pay you in cash. What’s more amazing is that we will go as per your timeline.
In conclusion, probate houses are no different from other houses. Hope this article will act as a guide to you in choosing your preferred probate process.