Problems with holding off on Probating a Will
As a Experienced North Texas Probate Attorney one of the issues I typically see in probate usually arises when no probate is initiated after the death of the first spouse. Where the deceased spouse has no children outside of the current marriage, then cleaning up title issues are a simple matter. However, that is not always the case.
If a person dies with a Will, the Executor typically has four (4) years to bring the Will to probate court. If four (4) years have elapsed, the only way to probate a Will is as a Muniment of Title. Otherwise, it is as if the person died without having a Will. This is critical when a family is a blended family.
In a situation where the decedent has children from a prior marriage, if that spouse dies without a Will, then that spouse’s children actually inherits that spouse’s share of property. It’s always the best course of action to have your Estate Planning documents updated regularly as situations in your life changes.
Why is this an issue?
Many times the spouses own a home together. The spouses believe when one dies, the other gets 100% of the home because they are married and it is their community property. In this situation, many do not initiate probate when the first spouse dies. Maybe the surviving spouses wants to sell the house and move in with one of their children, or move into a smaller home. The surviving spouse does not own 100% of the house and now he or she cannot sell the house.
When one spouse dies without a Will, all community property is split 50% to the deceased spouse and 50% to the surviving spouse. The deceased spouse’s 50% share now passes to their children in equal shares.
When a spouse dies with a Will leaving children behind from a prior marriage, it is imperative that the Will is admitted to probate. Don’t wait until it is too late.
Ronda Haynes is an Experienced Probate Attorney with 20+ years experience in Probate and Estate Planning. She can help guide you through what most people consider a very complex situation. From Letters Testamentary, Powers Of Attorney, Living Trust to complete Estate Planning Services that are customized to each individuals needs. She will give you the legal representation you deserve and guide you through the whole probate process from start to finish.
If you are looking for a Highly Skilled and Experienced Probate Attorney in Azle, Forth Worth or Keller Texas, don’t hesitate to Contact The Law Office Of Ronda S. Haynes today to get the Trusted Legal Representation you deserve. Please be sure to also read through our Probate Frequently Asked Questions page for any more questions you may have concerning the probate process.