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​The first step to probating a will is the filing of an application for probate with the Probate Division of the Harris County Clerk’s Office.​

Decedent’s EstatesHow do I probate a will?
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​The large majority of persons offering wills to probate use an attorney to represent them. Some persons file the application without an attorney. Such an application will not be set for a hearing in Probate Court No. 2, unless the applicant is the sole beneficiary of the will and is offering the will as a muniment of title only. An individual filing an application without an attorney to be appointed as an independent executor or administrator is, in the opinion of the court, practicing law without a license.​

Decedent’s EstatesDo I need an attorney to probate a will?
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​Ordinarily, probate hearings are held on Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. and Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.  If a special hearing time is required, contact the Court staff.​

Decedent’s EstatesWhen are probate hearings held?
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​You may call the Court to set a hearing on an application to probate a will.​

Decedent’s EstatesIf I don’t call the court to set a probate hearing then whom do I call?
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​Ordinarily, an application to probate a will must be filed within four (4) years of the date of death of the decedent.  Ordinarily, letters testamentary or letters of administration cannot be authorized more than four (4) years after the date of death of the decedent.​

Decedent’s EstatesHow long do we have to probate a will?
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​A contest to an application to probate a will can be filed at any time before the order is signed admitting the will to probate.  A will contest can be filed, under certain circumstances, up to two (2) years after a will is admitted to probate.​

Decedent’s EstatesWhen can we contest a will?
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​An executor or administrator may be removed with notice if he or she fails to make a final distribution settlement of the estate within three years after letters have been granted to him or her.  The executor or administrator may make application to the probate court for an extension of this time upon verified application showing good cause.​

Decedent’s EstatesHow long does an administrator have to distribute the inheritance to heirs?
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​There is no specific time for which an estate can remain open.​

Decedent’s EstatesHow long can an estate remain open?
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​You should contact the independent executor and ascertain what the status of the estate is, and when final distribution can be expected.  If you are not satisfied with the answer, you can file a request for an accounting after 15 months, or a request for accounting and distribution after two years from date of appointment of the independent executor.​

Decedent’s EstatesWhat can we do to hurry up and close the estate?
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​Distribution of the property is not handled by the court.  The property will be distributed by the independent executor or administrator after debts of the estate have been paid and the estate tax return, if any, has been filed.​

Decedent’s EstatesOnce the will is probated, do you handle the transferring of property?
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​Notice is required to be posted upon the filing of an application to probate a will or for the issuance of letters of administration in a decedent’s estate.​

Decedent’s EstatesWhen do you require posting?
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​It is due 90 days after the date of qualification.​

Decedent’s EstatesWhen is the Inventory due?
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​Yes, the court will grant you an extension upon your filing a written request.> If  you only need a couple of weeks the staff will give a verbal extension.​

Decedent’s EstatesCan I get an extension?
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​Yes.  The inventory must be verified by the personal representative before a notary public.​

Decedent’s EstatesDoes the Inventory have to be notarized?
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​An inventory is not required to be filed when a will is admitted as a muniment of title only.​

Decedent’s EstatesDo I have to file an inventory, in cases in which the will is admitted to probate as a muniment of title?
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​The affidavit concerning completion of the terms of the will must be filed unless the judge waives the filing in the order admitting the will to probate as a muniment of title. The judge will waive the affidavit only in cases in which there is a single beneficiary of the will.​

Decedent’s EstatesDo I have to file the 181 day affidavit?
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