When you have will that was not drawn up in Texas but the person who that will is for has passed away in Texas, you may need to probate the will in Texas rather than the state where it was drawn up. The will, despite being created in the USA, is called a foreign will. This is because its contents are foreign to Texas law, and the will may not be drawn up the way a Texas court would have liked.
If you’re handling a foreign will and probate in Texas, you may not be sure if the will can be validated or if it will be held up. Fortunately, Texas does allow you to probate foreign wills.
When can you probate a foreign will in Texas?
You can probate a foreign will in Texas if there is property in the state that will be affected by the will and if you have proof that the will is probated or validated within the United States or a foreign nation.
You will have to file an application for ancillary probate to handle a foreign will. You will also need to provide specific information to the court, including:
- The names and addresses of all people who would be entitled to a share of the estate if no will was present
- All information requested for the probate of a domestic will in Texas
- A copy of the foreign will and order by which the will was entered into probate
When you submit a copy of the will, it needs to have the signature of the court clerk in charge of handling probate records. It should also have the original signature of the judge or presiding magistrate. If a court seal exists, it should also be affixed to the document.
This situation can get a little complex depending on where you’re currently probating the will and all the people who may stand to benefit from probating the estate without a will. It’s not a bad idea to get to know your legal options before probating an out-of-state will, so you know that you’re handling the situation appropriately.