When someone dies without a valid Will, a court determines who the heirs are according to the law found in our Texas Estates Code. This is normally an expensive, time-consuming process for distributing an estate and it often leads to people inheriting that the decedent would have excluded had he/she left a valid will.
If a decedent dies without a will and with very few assets, an attorney may suggest some other ways to address the problems that are created by leaving no executor in charge of an estate. A Small Estate Affidavit, Affidavit of Heirship, or another type of filing with the probate court may help resolve the issue. If someone dies with a valid will, but the executor fails to get it probated within the required 4 years, other problems arise. The legal options that address these issues tend to be less efficient than an independent administration of a person's will within the required 4 years.