During the probate of a will in Texas, the estate of the decedent will undergo a process based upon the probate laws of the state of Texas. Assets are distributed and liabilities covered. There are times that a decedent has a lost will. Heirs will often ask – “How do you probate a lost will in Texas?”
Texas Probate – A Lost Will
It is important that the decedent’s Last Will & Testament be provided to the court for review. However, when there is no will to submit to a Texas probate court, there is a presumption that the will was revoked by the decedent; under Texas probate standards, this is considered to be a rebuttable presumption.
Under Section 85 of the Texas Probate Code, a lost will can be admitted if the interested party can:
verify the contents of the will (to meet the requirements of verifying the contents of the will, witnesses can prove its existence if they had heard, read or can identify a copy of the will),
satisfy the court as to why the will cannot be produced, and prove that a will is in existence and in force.
These steps to probate a lost will should be taken with the help of a qualified Texas probate attorney in order to provide valid arguments and evidence.
Keeping A Will Safe
There are some steps that you can take to keep a final will and testament stored and safe to avoid losing the document. First, consider storing the will in a safe location, like a bank vault. Safety deposit boxes are good locations away from the home that provide security to a will.
A second option is to store the document in your home, filed away or in a protected home location. Fireproof boxes and gun vaults are two possible locations. Finally, your Houston probate attorney can keep the document. An attorney is obligated to keep your information private and is a great choice for keeping a will safe and secure.
How A Houston Probate Attorney Can Help
It is important that you hire an attorney who specializes in estate law because they have the experience and training that is necessary to move forward with how to probate a lost will. When you hire a probate attorney to handle these types of matters, they will be able to provide legal assistance throughout the entire Texas probate process. The attorney will file all the necessary applications for the probate and can make special requests and recommendations to the court, among many other tasks.