If your family member died with a fully executed Will but was domiciled in a state other than Texas, but has real or personal property in Texas, there are a few options available to you:
- You must admit the Will for probate in the state the decedent was residing at the time of the death. When recording the Will in Texas, an authenticated copy of the foreign will and a copy of the order admitting will in the foreign jurisdiction must be recorded with the County in which the property exists.
- Generally, when the Will has been recorded in a state outside of Texas, an executor or administrator is appointed in that forum. This personal is generally the person who will record the will and the order or follow any of the below options.
- For real property, the foreign executor will generally record the will and the order admitting it to probate in the county deed records. This will meet the recording requirement. Once recorded, the foreign executor has the power to sell the property as the title has been established. The recording is also considered as giving notice to all of the people that there is a will, and title has been established by the will.
- A foreign executor can also admit the will to ancillary probate in Texas. This method is generally used when there is personal property involved in Texas. By simply recording the will and the order probating the will will not transfer title to certain personal property. That is the reason why this step may be necessary to secure property.
- A foreign executor can also submit the will to original probate. This process is used when the will is not admitted to probate in another jurisdiction. At that point, the will has to be admitted to original probate in Texas for it to be effective. The rules to admit foreign will for original probate in Texas are the same as a will executed under Texas rules. An application to probate the Will must be filed with the Court. A service of citation and notice must be sent out on the matter. A hearing must take place. Proof of facts and death of the decedent must be filed with the Court. At the prove-up hearing, any missing components of the will requirements must be met under Texas rules. At which point, the judge will enter an order probating the will and appointing an executor. The executor now will have the power to gather the assets of the estate and distribute according to the will.
If your family member passed away leaving a foreign will behind that affects property elsewhere, contact an attorney, like an estate planning lawyer Arlington TX trusts, today.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into estate planning.