Proving Up the Will in Court

Admitting the Will in Court

Having filed the application and after the clerk has issued citation and the citation return date has passed, the next step is to schedule the court hearing. 

Practices vary from court to court on how to schedule the hearing.  But generally, this involves calling the probate court or clerk and asking to be put on the court’s calendar.

The Court Hearing to Probate a Will

The court hearing to probate a will is typically routine and relatively quick.  The person seeking to be appointed has the burden to establish the validity of the will and that the will should be probated. To meet this burden, it may be necessary to present records to the court.  But in many uncontested cases the primary evidence consists of testimony that is elicited by your probate attorney.  

The testimony is taken on the record and under oath.

The line of questioning may go something like this:

Your attorney: Your name is ____________ and you were the husband of __________, is that correct?

You: Yes or that is correct or correct (just something in the affirmative).

Your attorney: __________ died on __________ date in Houston, Harris County, Texas, at the age of ___, is that correct?

You: That is correct.

Your attorney: And four years have not elapsed since the date of death and the filing of the application, is that correct?

You: That is correct.

Your attorney: The court has jurisdiction and venue over the estate in that ___________ lived in Harris county at the time of her death, is that correct?

You: That is correct.

Your attorney: _________ died testate and her will was signed on ____________, is that correct?

You: That is correct.

At this point your attorney may show you a copy of the will and ask if you recognize the copy and signature on the will.

You: Yes, I recognize the will and __________’s signature.

Your attorney: And to the best of your knowledge this will was never revoked, is that correct?

You: That is correct.

Your attorney: No state, governmental agency of the state, nor charitable organization is named by the will as a devisee, is that correct?

You: That is correct.

Your attorney: After the date of the will, no child was born to or adopted by ___________, is that correct?

You: that is correct.

Your attorney: No marriage was ever dissolved after the will was made, is that correct?

You: That is correct.

Your attorney: ________’s will names you to serve as independent executor to act independently without bond or other security, is that correct?

You: That is correct.

Your attorney: To the best of your knowledge, the proof required for probate has been made and you are not disqualified by law from accepting letters testamentary or from serving as executor and are entitled to such letters and is the person named in __________’s will, is that correct?

You: That is correct.

If all goes as planned, the judge will then admit the will to probate and sign an order admitting the will to probate.

The court process is slightly different when there is no will.  That is our next topic.
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Hire an Experienced Probate Attorney

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    At Kreig LLC, we understand that no two situations are the same. While we draw on decades of legal experience handling cases similar to yours, we also work to provide individualized representation that is tailored to your unique circumstances and goals. Our probate attorneys are responsive and consistently available for our clients, as well as steadfast legal advocates—both in and out of the courtroom.