When a loved one passes, there is a lot of work to do. Between planning for burial/cremation, notifying family, taking care of any pets that were left behind, you still need to begin the probate process. Regardless of whether your loved one wrote a Will, something needs to be done about their property once they are gone.

    The only way a family member may legally dispose of the property is to first obtain what are known as “letters testamentary” from the court. These letters give the executor the authority to sell cars, houses, and household items. The sooner you begin probate, the sooner you can sell a vacant property and help avoid break-ins or looting.

    The probate process is complex and the Texas Estates Code has many hoops to jump through in order to effectively probate a Will. If your loved died intestate (without a Will), the process is even more complicated. Make sure you hire legal counsel to avoid running afoul of the statutory requirements that could result in civil fines or personal liability.