How Long Does Probate Take in Texas?
How Long Does Probate Take When There’s A Will?
The length of the probate process in Texas depends largely on two factors:
#1) Is there a valid last will and testament?
If there is a valid last will and testament, the process is much faster. This is especially true when the will contains a “self-proving affidavit”. Look at the last page of the will to see if there’s a self-proving affidavit. It typically looks like a second signature page and will contain a notarization.
#2) In Which Texas County Did the Deceased Reside at the Time of Death?
Which probate court you’re using definitely impacts the speed of probate in Texas. The larger counties have “statutory probate courts”, which are courts that do nothing but probate cases. These tend to be quick.
You don’t get to pick which probate court you get to use. You typically have to use the probate court of the county in which the deceased resided at the time of death.
So, Let’s Look at How Long Texas Probate Takes:
If you have a last will and testament that contained a self-proving affidavit, the probate can take as little as 2-3 weeks! This presumes that the will is valid, the will is not being contested, and that you get to do the probate in one of the faster probate courts.
If there was a valid will but it didn’t contain a self-proving affidavit, the probate process typically takes a little longer. This is because the Texas Estates Code requires that you have a probate hearing with witnesses. These witnesses will provide testimony regarding the legitimacy of the will. Due to the need for witnesses, the probate court will need to allow more time on its docket, which means it may take a little longer before you can get a probate hearing.
If the deceased person died with no valid will, it really is a whole different ballgame. Without a will, the Texas probate process is called a “determination of heirship”. A determination of heirship can take anywhere from five weeks to 9+ months. The average is closer to 2-3 months. However, because determination of heirship cases require so much additional legal work, the process can swell into many months.
Our law office has handled more than a thousand probate cases in the Dallas area. While we’ve handled probate cases all over Texas, the majority of our will probate cases are in the Dallas County Probate Courts, Collin County Probate Court, Denton County Probate Courts, Tarrant County Probate Courts, and Rockwall County Court at Law.