How long after someone dies must his or her will be probated?
How long after someone dies must his or her will be probated? Generally speaking, Texas state law allows four years from the date of death of the testator (the person who drafted the will) to file for probate. If the executor fails to file the will for probate within those four years, the Texas laws of intestacy will govern how the assets are distributed. This means that if the executor failed to submit the will for probate through the proper channels within four years from the death of the testator, then the state of Texas would decide who would inherit the decedent’s assets. Wills are generally probated in the state from between two months to one year following the death of the owner of the estate.
Once the executor receives these Letters of Testamentary, he or she has a specific length of time in which to provide notice to all creditors—usually one month, in which notice must be published in the local newspaper. The executor must then provide written notice to all beneficiaries. Once the will is admitted to probate, the executor usually has 60 days in which to provide certified, written letters to all beneficiaries. A copy of the will and the court order admitting the will for probate must be included with these letters to beneficiaries.
The time involved in a Texas probate can vary from estate to estate. The size and complexity of the estate have bearing on the amount of time it will take to complete probate. If a beneficiary or creditor files a claim against the estate or contests the will, the probate process is likely to be much lengthier—as well as much more expensive. It is rare that an executor would wait four years to have a will probated, although there could be certain instances where this could potentially happen.