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Understanding Probate Court in Texas: Insight from an Experienced Probate Lawyer

Understanding Probate Court in Texas: Insight from an Experienced Probate Lawyer


Troy Moore

November 21, 2023

November 21, 2023

Understanding Probate Court in Texas: Insight from an Experienced Probate Lawyer

What is Probate Court?

Probate Courts in Texas are where property from deceased persons' estates is sorted out, and distributed to other parties, after creditors have a chance to make a claim against the Estate. Depending on which county you are located in Texas, your probate court may either be in a County Court at Law, a County Court, or a Statutory Probate Court (if you are in of the more populous counties in Texas).

If the person who is deceased (i.e. the "Decedent") had a Last Will & Testament, probate court is where the Decedent's Will is admitted in to evidence as the Last Will & Testament of the Decedent, and the probate court judge generally appoints an Executor or Administrator (in the case there was no Will) to oversee distribution of the estate and handling of all creditor claims.

Certain persons are required to received notice of a pending probate action. Those persons generally are the beneficiaries or heirs of the Decedent's Estate.

The Role of a Probate Lawyer

A Texas probate lawyer's main job is to assist the family with managing the complexities of the Texas Estates Code, so that they may enjoy transferring property from their deceased family member's estate to the next generation. Probate attorneys are important to clients in this process because the clerks of the probate courts, and the probate court judges are not allowed to give legal advice to individuals seeking to probate their loved one's estate. This is very frustrating for family members during an otherwise unpleasant time of life. Your trusted probate attorney is your guide through this process, so that it takes the least amount of time, and results in the maximum wealth transference possible.

The role of the probate lawyer is to figure out which probate process suits the situation best, and the first step is to determine if there was a Will or not. See our analysis here on our webpage that discusses your different probate options depending on your situation.

Navigating Probate Courts in Texas

In order to figure out where to start, we look to where the Decedent had their "fixed place residence" pursuant to Texas Estates Code Sec. 33.001. We generally file the probate case in the County where the Decedent lived at the time of his/her death.

If that county is one of our texas counties that has a statutory probate court, then the case originates and gets filed in the statutory probate court. If it is in a smaller county, original probate jurisdiction lies with the County Court at Law, and if the county is so small it does not have one of those, then the County Court has jurisdiction over probate cases in those counties in Texas.


You might be reading this article because you have been served with a Waiver of Service & Citation, or a Waiver of Service, or perhaps even a Consent to Independent Administration. All of these documents are related to proceedings in probate court that can potentially affect property rights you have over property you may now know about yet. Be certain to take action on your probate issues before the time is too late to do so! Call a Texas probate attorney today for help with your Texas probate court case. We stand ready to answer your questions for your unique issue.

Understanding Probate Court in Texas: Insight from an Experienced Probate Lawyer

November 21, 2023

November 21, 2023

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