I need to probate my fathers Will, but don’t have the money for an attorney.

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I need to probate my fathers Will, but don’t have the money for an attorney.

I haven’t been able to work because I was taking care of my father. I would like to
get his Will probated, but can’t afford an attorney.
How can I probate his Will?

Asked on October 20, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Even though it's helpful to have an attorney, it's not an absolute requirement. The clerks most likely referred you to an attorney because they are not allowed, by law, to give you legal advice. 
With that in mind, even if you cannot afford an attorney, still seek to have a consult with an attorney.  Many will provide free or inexpensive consultations.  The reason you want to visit with an attorney is to explore the need for probate, or to see if other options are available.  For example, if you father's estate is fairly small, then you may not need a probate.  Instead, you could potentially file what are called "affidavits of heirship".  An attorney can draw this up for a fairly inexpensive cost, sometime under a $150.00, (again depending on the extent of the estate).
If you do need a probate, but cannot afford one...then review other options with the attorney.  For example, instead of providing you full representation, the attorney can tell you the type of probate that you need (for intestate or testate).  They can then draft the petition and certain documents that you will need to effectuate that type of probate.  Thereafter, you can file the probate and represent yourself through the process.  When you file the probate, you can also fill out what is called an affidavit of indigency--requesting the clerk and probate court to waive the filing fees.  That will also save you expenses associated with the probate.


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