Texas (210) 826-1122
Washington (425) 296-2919

San Antonio Probate (Bexar and surrounding Counties)

 

Bexar County CourthousePaul Premack is available to assist with Probate of Wills in the San Antonio area (Bexar and surrounding counties).

The term “probate” covers six basic legal procedures ranging from extremely complex to simple:

 ·        Dependent Administration is the most complex probate procedure. It may be necessary when a person dies without having a Will, or when a person fails to simplify the process through instructions in his/her Will. In this method, the estate’s manager is called an “Administrator”, receives “letters of administration” as credentials, and must get prior court approval for most actions. This often operates hand-in-hand with a proceeding to determine heirship.

 ·        Independent Administration is a simpler probate process than Dependent Administration. It is called independent because the Executor may act in most instances without prior court approval by following the instructions in the Will. The credentials an Executor receives from the court are called “letters testamentary”. This is contrasted with Dependent Administration.

 ·     Muniment of Title may be used when there are no debts to be paid. A court order acts as evidence that ownership has passed through the terms of the Will. In this procedure, no Executor is appointed and no letters testamentary are issued.

 ·     A Small Estate Affidavit may be filed if the estate is smaller than $50,000, has no debt and has only a homestead as real estate. Again, no Executor is appointed and no letters testamentary are issued. This does, however, require appearance before a judge.

 ·        Finally, an Affidavit of Heirship might be filed with the county clerk. This process has the advantage of being inexpensive, and the disadvantage of being unreliable. No court approval is issued, no letters testamentary are issued, and the affidavit does not have to be accepted as proof of title.

Even though the Will identifies an Executor, that nominated person is not legally Executor until approved by the court. Prior to being officially appointed, think of that person as the “pending Executor”. The Executor’s official role begins with selection of an attorney. It is not legal for a pending Executor to act without a lawyer, as that would be practicing law without a license (the Executor is not representing him/herself; rather, the Executor is representing the estate and as such cannot act pro se). The guidance of an experienced attorney to assist with the probate system is vital. The attorney will help the pending Executor select an appropriate probate procedure.

Our Texas office is located inside Loop 410 on Broadway. There is free parking and full handicapped access.