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3 probate challenges that may arise for out-of-state representatives

When someone dies in Texas, an adult living in another state might serve as their personal representative. There are numerous challenges involved in overseeing probate proceedings from a different jurisdiction.

For example, the following are some of the requirements that can be difficult to fulfill as the personal representative of a Texas estate while living elsewhere, if you don’t have proper local legal support.

Securing and cataloging property

There are many opportunistic individuals who may try to misappropriate resources that should belong to an estate. Local thieves sometimes intentionally burglarize homes where the owner has recently died. They may be bolder in their efforts if they know that the family members of the deceased do not live in Texas.

Family members living in Texas or nearby could use keys that the decedent provided them or a relationship with their landlord to gain access to the property and potentially take valuable resources. They could take items ranging from certificates of deposit and jewelry to collectibles worth thousands. Finding and securing assets that belong to the decedent can be quite difficult for those not currently in Texas.

Attending probate court hearings

A personal representative of an estate typically needs to be present for all hearings in probate court. The only way to avoid that responsibility is generally to have an attorney present. Even then, a personal representative likely needs to show up for certain probate hearings in person. Particularly if there are conflicts related to probate matters, being physically present in Texas for court matters could prove challenging for a personal representative living elsewhere.

Properly communicating with creditors

The personal representative of an estate generally needs to monitor someone’s financial obligations, a task that typically involves reviewing their mail. Gathering correspondence and using it to identify creditors is an important part of the probate process. Someone who isn’t in Texas doesn’t necessarily have timely access to the incoming mail sent to the decedent.

Thankfully, is it possible to fulfill those obligations with in-state support. Those who want to act as a personal representative while living outside of Texas may need to hire a local lawyer to assist with estate administration. The right assistance can take much of the stress and frustration out of cross-state probate matters.

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