Effect of a will not being probated in Texas

A relative who owned non-participating royalty rights died many years ago. Apparently, his will was never probated. I've been told that the effect in Texas of not probating a will is that the will is treated as if it never existed and the estate is settled in accordance with Texas laws of succession for people who die intestate.

This scenario is apparently complicating the title curative process.

Does anyone have any experience or insight to similar situations in Texas?

The website listed below is a good place to start if you know specific death dates and other family information such as weather the property was community or seperate.


Thanks for the link.

This seems to support the information I received earlier indicating that a non-probated will is not valid and the rules of intestate succession come into play.

I beleive you have something like 4 years to probate a will in the State of Texas. After that, the estate is considered intestate.

you don't need to probate a will in Texas- if it's going to be contested it should be probated

My parents each died with a will and no probate & no problem- multiple mineral interest have be transferred with little effort.

you may need to execute a "Affidavit of Heirship" (there is no "standard" form) and provide a copy of the Will to get mineral interest transferred in my experience. It will help if the Will was filed with the County Recorder in the county of death and the county were the property(mineral interest was owned)-that can be done at anytime.

BG, your sources were correct. In Texas, a will must be offered for probate within four years of death in order for the estate to pass according to the terms of the Will. After the four years, the party offering the Will must prove that they were "not in default" for failure to timely offer the will for probate. The courts have each developed further clarifications to when a party is or is not "in default." However, if the party can't prove that they were not "in default" for the failure, then the estate does, in fact, pass according to the intestate succession regime. I've written an article with the idea of assisting some of my landmen buddies in what to do when they come across a will that wasn't timely offered for probate. Figured you may find it interesting/helpful: http://thetitleexaminer.com/texas-failure-to-offer-a-will-for-probate/