What Is Probate In TexasThe process for probating a will in Texas is for the proponent of the will to contact a lawyer to file it for probate with the county clerk. The clerk then post notice of the filing on the courthouse door (usually just a wall in the hallway) and serves process on those entitled to process. If you are not entitled to receive personal service, your notice is the notice that is posted on the courthouse wall. Once filed, the will is a public document and anyone can get a copy. There is no reading of the will.

Usually, after the notice has been posted on the courthouse door for a short period of time, the county judge has a hearing. Some small counties have the hearings very quickly while some larger counties take longer to set the hearing. At the hearing, the judge reviews the application in open court, hears testimony from the proponent of the will that the will is the last will of the decedent and, if no contest has been filed, admits the will to probate by signing an order. When the judge signs the order admitting the will to probate, the statute of limitations start to run on those who oppose the will to challenge the will by filing a will contest. If a person is contesting the will, he must contest it within two years of the date the judge admits the will to probate. It is better practice to file a will contest before the hearing where the judge admits the will to probate. You can also file a will contest before someone else files the will for probate.

With certain exceptions, a will has to be filed for probate within four years of the death of the testator. A will contest must be filed within two years of the date the will was admitted to probate. That is, two years from the date that the judge signed the order admitting the will to probate.