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Inheriting Real Property in Texas: A Guide to the Probate Process

The death of a loved one can be a difficult and emotional time, and when a will is involved, it can add an additional layer of complexity to an already challenging situation. If the deceased owned real property in Texas, the process of transferring ownership can become even more complicated. This is because Texas law requires that a will be probated in the county where the decedent owned real property. In this blog post, we will explore the steps involved in probating a will in Texas and the legal issues that may arise.


The first legal issue that must be addressed is whether Texas has jurisdiction over the estate. Texas law requires that a will be probated in the county where the decedent owned real property. This means that if the deceased owned a ranch in Texas, the Texas court will have jurisdiction over the estate.

Validity of the Will

The next issue to consider is the validity of the will. A will is only valid in the state where it was executed if it meets the requirements of that state’s law. In some cases, a will may be executed in one state but the decedent may have owned property in another state. In this situation, the will must meet the requirements of both states in order to be considered valid.

Personal Representative

The probate process in Texas requires the appointment of a personal representative to manage the estate. The personal representative is responsible for handling the administration of the estate and ensuring that the will is executed according to the decedent’s wishes. It is important to determine who is eligible to serve as the personal representative and to ensure that the appropriate person is appointed.

Estate Inventory and Appraisal

The next step in the probate process is to inventory and appraise the estate’s assets. This includes real property, personal property, and any other assets that the decedent owned. It is important to ensure that a comprehensive inventory is taken and that all assets are accurately appraised.

Debts and Taxes

After the inventory and appraisal are completed, the estate’s debts and taxes must be paid. It is important to ensure that all debts are paid and that the appropriate taxes are filed and paid.

Distribution of Assets

Once the debts and taxes are paid, the remaining assets of the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries. In the case where there is only one beneficiary, the transfer of ownership of the property is straightforward. However, if there are multiple beneficiaries, the distribution process can become more complex.


In conclusion, probating a will in Texas can be a complex process that involves several legal issues. It is important to work with an attorney who is knowledgeable in Texas probate law to ensure that the process is handled correctly and efficiently. The probate process can be stressful and emotional, but with the right legal guidance, it can also be a smooth and straightforward process. If you are facing the probate of a loved one’s estate, we recommend seeking the advice of an experienced attorney to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

Call us today for a FREE attorney consultation. (469) 895-4333.

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