The death of a loved one is not only emotionally challenging but also often creates logistical challenges as well. Ideally, a person has collaborated with an experienced attorney to create a will which distributes assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries in accordance with his or her wishes. If that will exists, the family’s responsibility is often far less complicated. Even with the existence of a will, however, the family may still need to determine which county is the appropriate one to probate the estate in Texas. Fortunately, Texas law provides guidance to make that determination.
The circumstances of the decedent determine the appropriate county for a Texas probate proceeding. Wills, for example, must be admitted to probate, and letters testamentary or letters of administration must be issued as follows:
- In the county where the deceased resided, if he or she had a domicile or fixed place of residence in this state;
- If the deceased had no domicile or fixed place of residence in the state but died in the state, then either
A. in the county where his or her principal property was at the time of his or her death, or
B. in the county where he or she died;
- If the deceased had no domicile or fixed place of residence in the state, and died outside the limits of the State, then in any county in the state where the nearest of kin reside;
- If the deceased had no kindred in the state, then in the county where his or her principal estate was situated at the time of his or her death.
Tex. Estates Code Ann. § 33.001.
Change in Venue
At times, beneficiaries may request a change of venue, usually if the venue is not conveniently located for the interested parties. Questions about changing venue are decided based on the “facts existing at the time the cause of action that is the basis of the suit accrued.” In re A.D.P., 281 S.W.3d 541 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2008, no pet.). When presented with the request, the trial court must assume the allegations are true and rule based upon the pleadings and affidavits submitted by the parties. Tex. R. Civ. P. 87.
Working with an experienced probate attorney helps to simplify the sometimes confusing process of probating a will, including changing venue, particularly beneficial at a time when families are grieving the loss of a loved one.
All information provided on Silblawfirm.com (hereinafter "website") is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used for legal advice. Users of this website should not take any actions or refrain from taking any actions based upon content or information on this website. Users of this site should contact a licensed Texas attorney for a full and complete review of their legal issues.