Do You Always Use Texas Law?
One of the many tasks you have as Executor of a Woodlands Probate Estate is to collect all of the property that belongs to the Estate. Many times this can be a fairly straightforward process, but there are times where what the law requires you to do may be counter-intuitive. Do you always use Texas law for a Woodlands probate? Let’s take a look at one example.
Does Texas Law Always Apply?
What would you do, as the Executor, if the deceased had a bank account in a state other than Texas?
What would you do, as the Executor, if the account was governed by a written agreement that said the account would be governed by the laws of that other state?
Lastly, what would you do, as the Executor, if the account was a survivorship account if you were using the laws of the state where the account existed; however, if you looked at it under Texas law it did not meet the Texas requirements for a survivorship account?
Would you collect that account as part of the Probate estate or would you consider it survivorship property and not a Probate asset? Do you use the laws of Texas or the laws of the state where the account was created?
The Executor’s Dilemma
As the Executor you have a legal obligation to collect all of the Estate’s assets. But, if you come across an asset like the one I described above and you think it is not a Probate asset when it actually is, then you better look out for the beneficiaries suing you.
On the flip side, if you think an asset is a Probate asset when it actually is not, then you better look out for the rightful owner suing you.
No Universal Answer
So what is the answer? Well, the answer hinges on how much of the value of the account is owned by one or more people domiciled in Texas. To make sense of the rules in your case, speak with your Woodlands Probate Attorney.