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Probate Archives

How Can You Avoid Probate if Your Only Asset is a House?

In Texas, you may avoid the requirements of probate if you have a limited estate by filing a community property agreement and/or amendment to your deed if the goal is to avoid probate between spouses. Simply put, if Alice and John are married and have a home which is their principal asset that would need to be transferred in probate, a simple revision of their deed or filing of a community property agreement establishing that the survivor will have 100% of the house will eliminate the need for a probate of the estate or a muniment of title if there are no other assets that need to be probated. The typical cost for a modification to a deed of this sort costs less than $500.00 where the average muniment of title probate proceeding can run between $1,000.00 and $2,000.00 and a full probate can run in excess of $2,500.00.

Tortious interference with inheritance rights in Texas--Yes or No?

Pending before the Texas Supreme Court is this very question: Does Texas law recognize a claim for tortious interference with inheritance rights? At this time, there is a split between Texas appellate courts. Courts in San Antonio, Houston, and El Paso have recognized a cause of action for tortious interference with inheritance rights. Austin has held that the cause of action does not exist and therefore cannot be enforced. The Fort Worth Court of Appeals, however, has not made an affirmative finding.