What is a Letter of Testamentary in Texas?

The probate process can be complicated. Often, our clients come to us overwhelmed by how many steps can be involved and how many hurdles they have to jump through. One such hurdle can be a letter of testamentary, which is sometimes produced during probate proceedings. Today’s blog will cover the basics of letters of testamentary, but to make sure you properly address the procedural requirements in your own probate case, the best thing you can do for yourself is to speak with a Texas estate planning attorney who knows the ins and outs of the process.

Who Provides the Letter of Testamentary?

Oftentimes, a probate court will provide an estate executor with a letter of testamentary. This letter is a document that the executor can take to a bank, a financial institution, a creditor, or any other party that needs to release funds belonging to the decedent. Oftentimes, financial institutions will only release a decedent’s funds if the executor shows up with this official letter of testamentary, proving that the probate court has authorized the distribution of funds.

Letters of testamentary, in short, give the executor the authority that he or she needs in order to fulfill the job of the executor. If a decedent says in his will, for example, that all of the money in his bank account will go to his children, the letter of testamentary gives the executor the power to retrieve the money from the bank (so that the children can then receive the funds).

A letter of testamentary only comes into play when the decedent chooses the executor of his or her estate and names that person in his or her will. As long as the decedent chooses his or her executor, and as long as the will is deemed valid, the probate court should have no issue providing this letter so that the disbursement process can move forward.

Are You Looking for an Estate Planning Attorney in Houston?

At McCulloch & Miller, we are proud to have gained the trust of our Texas clients looking for help as they navigate estate planning and probate. While probate courts can involve logistical hurdles, everything can be made much simpler with the help of knowledgeable, organized estate planning attorneys who are in your corner and ready to guide you through the process. Our firm provides a broad, holistic approach to our services that helps clients and families come up with a plan that works for them, taking all of their needs into account. If you are looking for a reliable Houston estate planning firm, look no further. You can reach us by phone at 713-936-9073, or you can fill out our online form to have an attorney reach out to you as soon as possible.

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