Do I need a lawyer to probate a will that is not complicated? Suggestions? Don’t want to pay $1200 unless I have to… Thanks in advance
Not a Texas lawyer but I do believe will must go through probate. Protects everyone that way. $1200 is cheap. I’d jump on that or be weary. Good luck. I don’t have any probate attorneys in Texas.
Not a lawyer, but a oil and gas landman (I deal with land titles, probate matters, people that die without a will day to day). I do all my work at the County Court House in the deed records in County Clerks office and also in the District Court Clerks office. It is very common when females die with a will (testate) to not probate the will if it was a simple will. What I am calling a simple will here is like she had two children and they were going to get whatever she owned 50-50. What is done in these cases is to file what is called an “Affidavit of Heirship” and attach a copy of her will to the Affidavit. You will need a lawyer to prepare the Affidavit of Heirship, then it will need to be filed in the Deed Records, which would give notice that she has died and left these 2 people as her only heirs. This should cost you maybe $ 200 out of pocket instead of the $ 1200 you mentioned. I am sure you all asking yourself why not on a male that has died. Well it because males can father illegitimate children outside their marriage than none of the family knows about, until they show up after the funeral and make themselves known with their hand out asking for their part. On a male that has no will, this leaves a four year window for any illegitimate child of his to file a lawsuit to establish that they are indeed his child. A male with a will that is probated can deliver his property into the legitimate children only. He does need to name his legitimate children in his will and not use a blanket words “to my children” for that get all of them. On a female without a will, an illegitimate child inherits from her. There is not doubt under a female that child was her child, but with a male, you just never know. I have been a Real Estate Broker and oil and gas landman for 38 years and I have seen a lot, read a lot of lawsuits and heard a lot of stories from other Realtors, landmen, and lawyers of what a mess things can be sometimes and what heirs will do to get their way.
I might add if you want to go the route of the Affidavit and attach a copy of the Will to it, you can use any Texas Real Estate lawyer you want to in any County to prepare the Affiadvit, no matter where the dec’d resided at or where there property was located in any of the 254 Counties. The lawyer that I use practices and lives in Harrison County Texas and his office phone is 903-935-9499 as for Barron. If your going to go the full blown probate route at the Courthouse then you need to hire a lawyer that does probate type work in the County the dec’d resided in or at least the next adjoining County to keep travel expenses down for you on your bill you are going to owe. Probate will be done in the County where they lived and if they owned real property in other Counties, a certified copy of the Will, the Order and the Application will be filed in other County they owned property in. You dont need a lawyer in my opinion that works in another part of the law, you need a one that works in Probate matters like Wills, Trusts, Deeds etc. You sure dont need to try to do it yourself as a non lawyer. When my own parents died, I hired a probate lawyer to do both their estates. You also need to know you have four years to file the Will for probate after the dec’d date of death. Most people wait no more than 2 months to file, but you have 4 years. Good luck you doing something that everyone has to do sooner or later. Also if any you males out there dont have a Will, you sure need one. Females need one, but males sure need one. I am sure I dont have to explain more on that subject. Please dont apply this line of thinking for any other State than Texas and a simple estate where the children of a female are going to take equally.
Ours is simple, it is my mother .
To release her small amounts of funds bank says we need it probated, but I will ask about the heir ship…thank you!