Is Probate Necessary In The State Of Texas?
Probate is necessary because you need to be able to transfer the property to the heirs or sell the property. A smaller estate with a home, vehicles, and some personal property is generally not a problem. Any valuables, collectibles, artworks, valuable coins, or stamp collections should be appraised. The home is generally titled in the name of the spouses. The only way you’ll be able to sell it through a title company is if you have letters testamentary allowing you to do that, so probate is necessary.
There are many ways that people can make sure probate is an easy process for them. For example, you have numerous non probate assets that are going to pass by a beneficiary designation. This includes all your bank accounts, your brokerage accounts, your life insurance, and your annuities. These typically have a beneficiary designation payable on death and you want to make sure those are always updated. Your home is really the key asset people are concerned about. Texas has established a statutory transfer on death deed, which is an excellent instrument that is easily drafted through an attorney and executed by the owner or owners.
Essentially, the transfer on death deed allows an owner to say that when they pass, they want their property to go to a certain person. In the case of a husband and wife, Texas is a community property state, so half of the properties of the husband go to the wife. The remaining half is what you are transferring. It’s easily drafted to make it a revocable. You can change it as many times as you want, as long as you have the legal capacity to do so and you do it properly. It’s filed with the property records at your county clerk’s office. When the property is going to be transferred, there is an official record of it. It’s a great way of eliminating a major probate issue.
Does All Of My Property Have To Go Through Probate In Texas?
There are numerous non-probate assets, like all your bank accounts, your annuities, your life insurance, your brokerage accounts, and your IRA. They have either a joint ownership designation, a beneficiary designation, or a payable on death designation. If you update that properly, it’s not going to go through probate. Properties, such as your home, your vehicle, or your collectibles have to go to probate to make sure that you can distribute or sell them.
What Are My Options For Avoiding Probate In Texas?
The options to avoid probate are very simple. You want to make sure that on all your financial accounts, you’ve updated the beneficiary designations. Make sure you have statutory durable power of attorneys, giving someone you trust full authority to handle any transactions, if you are to pass. You also probably want to have a transfer on death deed drafted for any real property you own, so that it doesn’t have to go through probate. If you do these things, you’re pretty well covered. There are a lot of other estate planning techniques you should engage in, such as an advance medical directive and a simple will.
You should have both kinds of durable power of attorney: the medical and the financial. You may want to consider having an advance declaration of a guardianship. If you lose capacity because of Parkinson’s disease or dementia, you’ve gone a long way for your estate planning if you’re telling the court who you want to be your guardian. Although 75 percent of people die without a will in Texas, the advantage of having a simple will is that you have the power to tell a court how you want your property to be distributed. You can disinherit people, you can distribute it all to whoever you want. If you don’t have a will, it’s going to be distributed according the laws of the state of Texas, which means it’s going to go equally to your lawful heirs.
For more information on Necessity Of Probate In Texas State, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (915) 260-4552 today.
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