If you believe you have a right to a share of the estate of someone who has passed away, you may be able to file a claim to receive the assets you were meant to have.
Few things compare to the loss of someone you loved or had a close relationship with. Grief is indescribable emotion, and the death of someone close to you can leave you grappling with the emotional pain of their loss for a long time. In the midst of your grief, you may have discovered that your deceased loved one’s estate did not include a bequest to you that you thought was coming your way. If you believe you have a right to their estate, you’ll need to take the necessary action to make sure that you receive whatever property you’re entitled to.
The estate litigation attorneys of Staubus and Randall have decades of experience navigating Texas’s complicated estate laws and using their extensive legal skills to litigate estate matters. We’ve represented our clients on both sides of the estate planning and litigation coin, helping them protect their estates and ensure that their rights aren’t infringed upon as beneficiaries to estates.
What Is a Will Distribution Claim?
After the death of a loved one, you may be a beneficiary of their estate. If you weren’t left the assets you expected, you may file a claim with the court. If you were left out of the will altogether and believe that you should have been left some of the deceased’s estate, you can also file a claim. In most cases, the estate of any person who dies intestate, meaning without a will, or dies with a will has to go through the probate process. It is during the probate process that you can file a claim with the court requesting that property contained in the estate of the decedent be distributed to you.
What Is the Process for Filing a Will Distribution Claim?
Following the decedent’s death, their will needs to be probated in court. In Texas, the executor has four years from the date of the decedent’s death to file to admit the will to probate court. An executor is a person designated to manage and administer the estate. Often, decedents name the person who they wish to manage and distribute their estate in their will. If there is no executor named in the will, the probate court will appoint someone. If the executor doesn’t file to admit the will to probate within four years, the court will take on the duties of distributing the decedent’s property just as it would if a will did not exist.
After filing to probate the will and being appointed to administer the estate, the executor is legally mandated to notify any beneficiaries named in the will that the decedent has died. Executors must notify beneficiaries of the estate within 60 days after being appointed. The executor also must notify all the decedent’s creditors within 90 days after the petition to probate the will is filed. They also must notify the public of the decedent’s death, which is typically done by the court when the petition is filed to admit the will to probate. This gives the estate’s beneficiaries and those who believe they have a right to the estate an opportunity to participate in the probate process.
If you’re notified that you’re a named beneficiary to an estate, you’ll be provided with a copy of the petition to admit the will to probate and a copy of the will. If you believe you should be given assets that were not assigned to you in the will, you will need to respond by filing a will distribution claim. If you haven’t been formally notified of the petition to probate a will for an estate in which you believe you have interests, you can file a beneficiary claim.
There is a two-week waiting period between the time the executor files a petition to probate the will and a scheduled probate hearing. Contact us if you have further questions. We have the experience you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
The probate process isn’t a regular part of most people’s lives. Probating a will after a loved one’s death can be a lengthy process if the decedent’s estate is large and if disputes arise between beneficiaries. Even a simple probate process can be challenging to understand because of the complexity of probate and estate law.
When you hire the Dallas estate litigation attorneys of Staubus and Randall, we’ll walk you through this entire process while advocating for your best interests. We’ll keep you abreast of what’s going on with your case and answer any questions you might have until your estate matter is resolved. For now, we’ve answered several questions that you might have.
How long do I have to file a claim?
You have six months from when you’re notified of the death of the decedent or from the date the decedent’s will has been admitted to probate to file a claim against their estate.
Am I eligible to file a claim?
What if I haven’t been notified that I’m a beneficiary to the estate, but I believe I should be? Can I still file a claim?
If you believe that you have a right to be a beneficiary of an estate, you could file a claim disputing the will. This is known as a kinship dispute. You’ll need to prove the relationship between you and the decedent and will have to argue your interests in the estate, which can be difficult to do without the help of a skilled estate litigation attorney.
Hire the Estate Litigation Attorneys at Staubus and Randall
Have you been notified that you are a named beneficiary in your deceased loved one’s will but weren’t bequeathed what you expected? Or do you believe that you should be a beneficiary of their estate but weren’t? You may be able to file a claim so that the property designated to you or that you have a right to is distributed to you. Contact the Dallas estate litigation attorneys of Staubus and Randall at 214-691-3411 to discuss your claim.