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How to know if you’re in a will in Texas


Every Texas resident has seen the dramatic scene in a movie or tv show where a lawyer will read the will, usually revealing something very juicy in the process. They might be surprised to know that it doesn’t typically work that way.

Usually, there will be a person who is named the executor of the will. The executor will guard the estate as it goes through probate and will be responsible for getting in touch with beneficiaries.

What happens if you’re named in a will

If you’re named in a will, the executor will probably be the one to reach out to you. For adult children or close family members, the executor might not have any problem tracking them down to inform them that they’ve been named in the will.

It gets harder for family members who are estranged, disinherited, or living in a different state. In this case, the executor will use any public information they can to try and track down these individuals if they are named in the will.

What if you’re not contacted?

The safest assumption is that if you’re not contacted by someone after the individual has died, you weren’t named in the will. However, all wills are public records unless they’re sealed – so if you go to the county courthouse and pay a small fee, you’ll be able to read the will yourself.

Alternatively, there might not have been a will at all. If there’s no will, the estate might get caught up in probate. You can check with the probate court to see if there’s a will filed – but you might have to check multiple times.

Losing someone can be rough and having unanswered questions can make the process harder. Don’t be afraid to reach out through the proper channels to clear up any loose ends and put your mind at ease.