Texas Will Probate Law

The provisions set forth below are taken from the Texas Probate Code, Chapter V. Probate and Grant of Administration.

Sec. 73. PERIOD FOR PROBATE. (a) No will shall be admitted to probate after the lapse of four years from the death of the testator unless it be shown by proof that the party applying for such probate was not in default in failing to present the same for probate within the four years aforesaid; and in no case shall letters testamentary be issued where a will is admitted to probate after the lapse of four years from the death of the testator.
(b) If any person shall purchase real or personal property from the heirs of a decedent more than four years from the date of the death of the decedent, for value, in good faith, and without knowledge of the existence of a will, such purchaser shall be held to have good title to the interest which such heir or heirs would have had in the absence of a will, as against the claims of any devisees or legatees under any will which may thereafter be offered for probate.
Sec. 76. PERSONS WHO MAY MAKE APPLICATION. An executor named in a will or any interested person may make application to the court of a proper county:
(a) For an order admitting a will to probate, whether the same is written or unwritten, in his possession or not, is lost, is destroyed, or is out of the State.
(b) For the appointment of the executor named in the will.
(c) For the appointment of an administrator, if no executor is designated in the will, or if the person so named is disqualified, or refuses to serve, or is dead, or resigns, or if there is no will. An application for probate may be combined with an application for the appointment of an executor or administrator; and a person interested in either the probate of the will or the appointment of a personal representative may apply for both.
(a) For Probate of a Written Will. A written will shall, if within the control of the applicant, be filed with the application for its probate, and shall remain in the custody of the county clerk unless removed therefrom by order of a proper court. An application for probate of a written will shall state:
(1) The name and domicile of each applicant.
(2) The name, age if known, and domicile of the decedent, and the fact, time, and place of death.
(3) Facts showing that the court has venue.
(4) That the decedent owned real or personal property, or both, describing the same generally, and stating its probable value.
(5) The date of the will, the name and residence of the executor named therein, if any, and if none be named, then the name and residence of the person to whom it is desired that letters be issued, and also the names and residences of the subscribing witnesses, if any.
(6) Whether a child or children born or adopted after the making of such will survived the decedent, and the name of each such survivor, if any.
(7) That such executor or applicant, or other person to whom it is desired that letters be issued, is not disqualified by law from accepting letters.
(8) Whether a marriage of the decedent was ever dissolved after the will was made, whether by divorce, annulment, or a declaration that the marriage was void, and if so, when and from whom.
(9) Whether the state, a governmental agency of the state, or a charitable organization is named by the will as a devisee.
The foregoing matters shall be stated and averred in the application to the extent that they are known to the applicant, or can with reasonable diligence be ascertained by him, and if any of such matters is not stated or averred in the application, the application shall set forth the reason why such matter is not so stated and averred.
(b) For Probate of Written Will Not Produced. When a written will cannot be produced in court, in addition to the requirements of Subsection (a) hereof, the application shall state:
(1) The reason why such will cannot be produced.
(2) The contents of such will, as far as known.
(3) The date of such will and the executor appointed therein, if any, as far as known.
(4) The name, age, marital status, and address, if known, and the relationship to the decedent, if any, of each devisee, and of each person who would inherit as an heir in the absence of a valid will, and, in cases of partial intestacy, of each heir.

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