Q: My brother died intestate on April 4,2020. He had no real property. Can I avoid probate?
A: Definitely maybe. If he had no will, had more than $75,000, and owed less than $75,000 in creditor claims, then you could probably use a "Small Estate Affidavit." If he had a will, that's the way to go. If he had no will but he has more than $75,000, then you will do a "Judgment Declaring Heirship." This heirship process is more expensive than the other options, but still far less expensive than most people expect.
A: Since there is no will, a small estate affidavit may be an option, but there are strict requirements that must be met in order to file this. The other option is filing for Letters of Administration with Determination of Heirship. Since there was no Will the Court must establish who the legal heirs are. The Letters of Administration will allow you to administer the estate and transfer the assets to the determined heirs. Please contact a probate attorney in Texas to discuss this matter further.
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