Victoria, TX asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas

Q: Can I become the administrator of my father's estate even tho he has been deceased for ten yrs

1 Lawyer Answer
Dillon B Norton
Dillon B Norton
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: It depends on various facts, and you should contact a probate attorney to assist you with this matter. Without more information, answering this question is difficult, so I will supply some hypothetical scenarios that may assist in answering your question.

Assume your father had a will. In Texas, people have four years from the date of a decedent's death to probate a will. After that, you can only probate a will under a few scenarios: 1) to provide a link in the chain of title for real property, and 2) to collect property owing to the estate with Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed. Common examples for needing an administrator to collect property owing to the estate are: to gain access to a retirement or stock account that has no beneficiary designation or to access bank accounts that have no survivorship designations. If you are named as an executor in the will you would be eligible if collecting property owing to the estate is needed. If you are not a named executor, and the named executors have died, do not qualify or desire to serve, then you may become the Administrator if all the beneficiaries agree that you should serve.

If your father did not have a will, you could apply for an heirship at anytime after his death, and you may serve as the administrator of his estate if all of the heirs agree that you should serve. However, you need to contact a probate attorney for assistance as this is a complicated matter.

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