Intestate: As a skilled probate lawyer Arlington TX relies on can explain, “intestate” means having died without making a Will. Wills provide guidance to the courts and family as to what to do with property and belongings when someone passes away. When there is no Will in place, it is called Intestate and there is a completely different process for probating the estate. When someone passes without a Will the state will distribute the property to the remaining dependents or close relatives of the deceased. The court will also appoint an administrator but the process of probate is the same with or without an administrator.
Beginning the process of probate
The probate process is fairly easy. Whether or not the Decedent died with a Will or without a Will, an application for probate must be filed in a Probate Court.
After the application has been filed, probate law often requires that you must wait approximately 2 weeks before a hearing to determine the necessity to open the Administration of the Estate and/or to recognize the Decedent’s Will as valid is set.
During the 2-week waiting period, the County Clerk posts a notice at the courthouse that an application has been filed for probate. This posting serves as a notice to anyone who might want to contest the Will or administration. If someone wants to contest then they have a certain number of days to do that. If they fail to file their contest within that period of time, the Court can determine the validity of the will, if there is one, and move forward with an administration.
Once the waiting period has passed, a hearing will be conducted before the probate Judge. The courts will recognize the passing of the individual and either distribute property or appoint an administrator.
Once the courts decide to distribute property it will be distributed in two ways, community property and separate property.
- Community property is property which is acquired during marriage. It will go to the deceased person’s spouse unless they have adult children. If there are adult children, then property will be split in ½ between the spouse and adult children. The distributions differ depending on personal and real property.
- Separate property is that which was owned before the marriage or that which is an inheritance that was obtained during the marriage. If it is separate personal property, then it is split 1/3 to the spouse and 2/3 to the children. If the property is separate real property, then it is passed to the deceased children.
- If the deceased has no children, then all separate property is given to the spouse.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC for their insight into intestate probate process.