Steps in the Probate Process

Every probate is different, but there are some common steps in most probate administrations. These steps often include:

  1. Check with whether the Texas Medicaid Estate Recovery Program has a claim
  2. File the:
    • Probate application (for testate and intestate probates)
    • Heirship application (for intestate probates)
    • Motion and order to appoint the attorney ad litem (for intestate probates)
    • Registered agent designation (for out of state representatives)
  3. Clerk issues citation on the application
  4. Provide notice to the Attorney General if a charity is involved
  5. Lodge the will with the clerk (for testate probates)
  6. Secure and file any consents and waivers and/or serve any necessary parties
  7. The court appoints the attorney ad litem (for intestate probates)
  8. Provide information to the attorney ad item (for intestate probates)
  9. File the Attorney Certificate of Service of Citation (for intestate probates)
  10. Schedule the court hearing
  11. Have the court hearing
  12. Make the required court filings
  13. Sign the oath
  14. Post bond (if required)
  15. Hire appraisers (if required)
  16. Order the letters testamentary or letters of administration
  17. Clerk issues the letters testamentary or letters of administration
  18. If there are estate assets, obtain a taxpayer identification number for the estate and set up a checking account for the estate
  19. Identify, secure, and manage the probate assets
  20. Notify the IRS and/or Texas Comptroller of the appointment
  21. File the decedent’s final tax return(s) and/or the estate’s income tax return(s) (or possibly extensions therefore)
  22. Provide the beneficiaries notice of the will (for testate probates)
  23. File affidavit or certificate regarding notice to beneficiaries
  24. Publish notice to creditors
  25. Send creditor letters
  26. Evaluate creditor claims and assets and pay valid claims
  27. File the inventory or affidavit in lieu of inventory
  28. Set aside homestead and exempt property or allowance in lieu of exempt property
  29. Pay family allowance
  30. File estate tax return and pay any tax owed and then apply for discharge with the IRS
  31. Pay and/or reject creditor claims
  32. Make the distributions to the beneficiaries or heirs and obtain releases
  33. If the probate lasts longer than one year, file the annual accounting
  34. Make the required court filings to close the probate

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