Should You Go Through Probate

Should you probate an estate?  While there are certainly legal issues at play that I’m not qualified to address, I want to answer from the standpoint of real estate.  When someone passes away, there is a legal process known as probate to settle the decedants financial and legal matters.  Many times, when one spouse dies, everything is passed to the surviving spouse, either through a will or, if there is no will, through the succession process in Texas law (though there are situations in Texas law in which other people are entitled to a share).  Especially in a spousal situation, some people don’t want to go through the hassle or expense of probate.  But if the spouse wants to sell the house, it can create a problem.  In addition, if the second spouse dies, their heirs can have problems selling the house.  The main issue is that many title companies don’t want to issue a title insurance policy if it wasn’t probated.  While there are alternatives to push the sales through, having done many probate sales over the years I find it is easier to sell the house when the probate was completed.

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