If my mother pasted away and left her property to me, do I have to probate her Will?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If my mother pasted away and left her property to me, do I have to probate her Will?

It states if she passes all her property come’s to me. She only owned about 1 acre of land. There are no other children involved.

Asked on December 30, 2015 under Estate Planning, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

All of the property owned by a deceased at the time of their death is part of the estate and is subject to probate. The type of probate needed depends on the type of property involved and the state in which it is located. So while generally, it is necessary to go through probate before the deceased's property can be legally distributed, in the case of smaller estates less formal procedures are available.
TX has a procedure that permits heirs to skip probate when the value of all the estate assets is less than a specified amount. All an inheritor has to do is prepare an affidavit (i.e. short document), stating that they are entitled to a particular asset and sign it under oath. This is an out of court procedure that is available if there is no Will and the value of the entire estate, not including homestead and exempt property, is $50,000 or less. However, a probate judge must approve the affidavit. It can be used to transfer homestead but no other real estate (there is a 30-day waiting period).
Additionally, there is a simplified probate process for small estates in TX. It entails that the executor files a written request with the local probate court asking to use the procedure. The court may authorize the executor to distribute the assets without having to go through all of the formalities of a regular probate. You can use this simplified small estate process if the value of the property doesn't exceed what's needed to pay the family allowance and certain creditors.
What you can do now is to google the name of the appropriate county and the words "small estate - probate".  You should find most of the information that you need there. if not contact the local probate court and/or consult directly with a probate attorney.

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