After the death of a loved one, you may find yourself simply wanting to remain swallowed in grief rather than facing responsibilities. However, you likely also know that remaining in such a state can cause issues if certain aspects of the estate need addressing. If your family member named you executor of the estate, you may find yourself wanting to put off the probate process in order to handle your emotional challenges, but handling the necessary probate duties sooner rather than later may prove beneficial.
Though the probate process does not always have to prove daunting, various factors could make some cases take longer than others could. Therefore, you may wish to assess your loved one's estate and determine where to begin probate.
County of residence
Most often, the probate process starts in the county where your family member lived. Likely, the assets he or she owned were also kept in that area. As a result, the proceedings can begin with the appropriate court in that area, and starting the process remains relatively simple.
Intangible assets typically remain easy to address as well. Bank accounts, stocks and investments can all go through probate in the county of the deceased's residency.
When it comes to tangible, or physical, property, the location of that property plays into the probate proceedings. If, as mentioned, the property remains in the same county that your loved one lived, then the process moves forward in that county. However, if your family member owned property in another area, that property may have to go through probate in the area of its location. Exceptions may exist if the different property locations remained in the same state.
If owned property existed in more than one state, you may need to go through additional probate proceedings. Opening probate in a state other than the one in which your loved one lived constitutes an ancillary probate. This process essentially acts as a separate proceeding in order to address the tangible property in that state. In other words, you may need to go through multiple probate proceedings in order to handle all the tangible property of the estate.
Because you could face complex issues when going through probate in addition to handling your emotional hardships, you may wish to better understand the process and how to address your family member's property. Consulting with an experienced Texas attorney could help you determine where to begin the probate process for your loved one's estate and how to address property that may exist in areas outside the place of residence.