The Probate Process

Helpful Information From the Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen About the Texas Probate Process

If you have had a loved one pass away recently, or have even been named as executor or administrator of the estate of a friend or family member, you may suddenly be familiar with a term you haven't heard before or only heard mentioned by someone else: probate administration. You have a vague sense of what it might be, but don't understand how it works or what your rights and responsibilities are. This page provides an overview of the probate process. To learn more about probate administration, see our pages on

To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your probate concerns, contact a Texas probate lawyer at Bailey & Galyen or call our office at one of the numbers listed below.

An Overview of the Texas Probate Process

The probate process is set up to ensure the orderly distribution of property or assets when a person dies. You can take steps while you are alive to identify how this will happen, using a will or trust, transferring joint ownership to another person, or making a lifetime gift. If you use a will to set forth how your property will be divided, the probate court will oversee the process, ensuring that assets are allocated according to the terms of the will. This is known as probate administration. If you take no steps to identify how your property will be divided, you are considered to have died intestate. Intestate estates are also administered by the probate court.

The first step in the probate process is to submit the estate to probate and have an executor assigned by the court. The executor will personally oversee the process, reporting back to the court as the estate is settled. The duties of the executor include:

  • Preparing an inventory of the assets of the estate
  • Obtaining an appraisal of assets, if necessary
  • Collecting any debts or payments due to the deceased
  • Notifying all creditors and paying any final debts of the estate
  • Filing and paying all tax obligations of the estate
  • Distributing the property in the estate in accordance with the terms of the will

As the executor, you have a fiduciary duty to the estate and anyone with an interest in the estate. You must act in the best interests of the estate at all times, and never in your own self-interest.

Contact Our Lawyer for Probate Administration

Bailey & Galyen offers a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your probate-related legal matter. Contact the experienced legal professionals at Bailey & Galyen, Attorneys at Law.

Dallas: 972-362-5532
Ft. Worth: 817-752-3310
Houston: 832-447-2870