What should I do if a loved one passes away without a Will?

 

What can I do if a loved one passes away without a will?

What can I do if a loved one passes away without a will?

 

If the deceased person dies without a Will, then the property passes by intestacy (the Will that Texas wrote for deceased persons based upon the next of kin to the deceased person). Under Texas law, an application for an heirship determination must be filed. The Court appoints an attorney to investigate the unknown heirs, if any, and the whereabouts of unknown heirs and the existence of any minor heirs. The attorney for the heirs files an answer and prepares a report which is offered to the Court at the hearing. A family member typically testifies at the hearing, and the testimony is corroborated by two witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the estate. The Court then signs a judgment of heirship determining the heirs. If administration is found to be necessary then the Court appoints an administrator. Upon application and consent of the heirs, the administrator may be appointed as the independent administrator. The independent administrator serves without bond and free of court supervision. If there is no independent administration, then a dependent administration is opened. A dependent administration is expensive because no money may be expended without court approval, but it may be preferable where there are significant debts.

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