You would not typically have to go through probate in Texas for estates worth less than $75,000. This is good news for people who qualify, as the loss of a loved one is devastating enough without adding the potential stress of the often-complex probate process. However, even if the value of the estate is under the limit, you may still need to do some legal work in order to make sure that you transfer the assets properly and incur the minimum tax penalty.
There are a few reasons why you would want to be careful if you were inheriting any amount of money. In the first place, the cap for small estates is relatively high; $75,000 is a good amount of money. Second, you would want to make sure everything is done correctly when you first submit your documents in order to avoid any delays in resolving the estate.
Even if you are the heir or executor of what Texas law calls a small estate, there could be several people interested in the significant assets involved. You may not have conflict now, but that is not necessarily an indicator of future attitudes. It would probably be wise to make sure you do everything properly in order to prevent any disputes or doubts in the future. If you are the sole beneficiary of a will or an estate, then you may need legal or financial support in order to retain as much as possible all of the assets your loved one intended for you.
As explained on the Harris County website, probate is appropriate in many cases. It has the potential to be lengthy and complex due to the many potential requests for delays or confirmation from various parties, but it is thorough. The small-estate process is more streamlined, but you would still need to meet deadlines and fill out paperwork with great attention to accuracy and detail.
Your loved one probably meant your inheritance to be a boon, not a burden. Getting a legal analysis of your specific case is probably the best way to ensure a smooth transfer of rights and assets. This article is not legal advice. Please only think of it as background information.