When people die in Texas, others will be tasked with disposing of their estates. The estate of a deceased person includes all of his or her real estate, personal property, and other assets. Before the assets of the estate can be sold or transferred, several things must first occur.
If the deceased person died without a will, his or her estate will likely need to go through the probate process in court. The court will appoint someone to administer the estate. This person will be responsible for taking an inventory of all of the assets, notifying the intestate heirs and the creditors, and paying the deceased person’s debts before the assets can be sold or distributed.
When a deceased person dies with a will, the person who is named as the executor in the will document will have the tasks of administering the estate. He or she will need to submit the will to the probate court for validation. If no objections are filed, the court will declare it to be valid and give the executor the power to manage the assets. The executor will need to settle the testator’s outstanding debts, file the final income tax return, and pay the legal fees before distributing the assets to the named beneficiaries under the terms of the will.
Once the property and assets have been distributed, the beneficiaries or heirs will hold the legal titles to them. They can then sell the assets and property as they see fit once the titles have been legally transferred. People who are appointed to administer estates or who are named as executors might want to consult with attorneys about the probate process. Getting legal advice may help the estate administrators or executors avoid making costly mistakes and to handle the transfers and administration of the estate correctly.