There are many alternatives to probate that a person may want to consider before filing any paperwork. It is important to speak with an attorney about the specific facts of your case because not all cases will be able to avoid a formal probate.
A will may be probated as a muniment of title if there are no debts owed by the deceased person. By probating a will as a muniment of title, the applicant can distribute estate property without the necessity of going through a long and drawn out probate process.
If a person has executed a valid transfer on death deed then the deed itself should transfer title to real estate once the person has died. There may not be any need to probate a deceased person's will if the only asset they left was their real estate.
In an affidavit of heirship, someone who knew the deceased person really well swears that they knew who the deceased person was married to, who their children were and generally what their property consisted of. Sometimes, a title company will accept an affidavit of heirship to show proper transfer of real property in lieu of requiring a formal probate to take place. Affidavits of heirship, if applicable to the facts of a person's case, can save a great deal of time and money and be used in place of probating a will.
If a person dies without leaving a will, it may be possible to probate their estate by filing a small-estate affidavit. Small-estate affidavits are only available when a deceased person's estate is valued at less than $75,000. If you are unsure as to a deceased person's assets and liabilities it would be prudent, although more costly, to file a determination of heirship and independent administration.
With an office in San Marcos, Scanio & Scanio, A Professional Corporation, serves clients in the Central Texas counties of Hays, Comal, Caldwell and Guadalupe. To schedule an initial consultation with one of our attorneys, call 512-396-2016 or send us an email.