For people in Texas who have recently lost a loved one, it is important to remember the importance of settling their affairs under the law. When the decedent has written a will, probate is a key part of that process. For many, this can be a confusing issue, but it need not be complicated. One aspect to remember is the necessary proof under state law.
What are the general and additional proof requirements for probate?
When applying for probate, the court must be shown specific facts. Some are obvious such as proving that the testator has died. Others include showing that the application for probate is being made within four years of the testator’s death.
The court must have jurisdiction over the venue. The legal requirements for citation being served and returned must have been met. The citation is a listing of facts in the probate application. Finally, the person who seeks administration or letters testamentary must meet the requirements to do so under the law.
There are additional proof requirements that need to be understood. The court must see that the testator did not revoke the will. When a will has not been self-proved – meaning it was not handwritten (holographic) or signed by witnesses (attested) – the testator must have executed it under the law and met one or more of the following criteria: they were at least 18; they were married or had been married; or they were in the U.S. armed forces.
Understanding probate and its requirements can ease the process
Some probate cases are easier than others. This is true with a smaller estate or one that has vast holdings. From the beginning, it is imperative to provide the necessary proof to the court to get started.
Through probate, the person’s death is acknowledged and their affairs are settled. That includes paying their debts and distributing their assets. Those left behind – and especially the executor – need to be fully aware of all aspects of the probate laws to complete the process effectively.