Probating a Small Estate in Texas
Texas has special rules for probating a small estate if the decedent didn't own any real estate other than a home and estate contains less than $50,000 in assets. A person's estate generally includes everything they own at the time of death. For small estate affidavit purposes, the homestead and limited other property are excluded from the total value.
The person settling the estate does not have to file the will for probate and a court will not issue letters testamentary or any other documentation giving a person authority to settle the estate.
Instead, the person settling the estate submits an affidavit to the probate court stating certain conditions exist, making the estate eligible for treatment as a small estate, including:
- The estate does not exceed $50,000 in value, other than a homestead and other limited exemptions
- The person making the affidavit is legally entitled to the assets in the estate.
Making an affidavit shouldn't be taken lightly, since it is given under oath and may subject the affiant to perjury charges if the information sworn to is known to be false.
The small estate affidavit must also be signed by two uninterested witnesses who are not going to inherit and who are not otherwise financially interested in the matter. All adults who will receive a portion of the estate must also sign as witnesses to the small estate affidavit. An experienced probate lawyer can explain and help facilitate the process, along with making sure your forms are correctly prepared.
If you need help deciding whether a small estate is eligible for the expedited process, or need an attorney to review your documents before you file them in probate court, call an experienced probate administration and litigation lawyer at the Peterson Law Group. Our experienced Conroe, Texas attorneys guide clients through various probate proceedings, step by step. Call us at 936-337-4681 or 979-703-7014 or contact us online to make an appointment today.