Harris County has more probate cases than any other Texas county. This is due to the larger population in Harris County. The more people, the more deaths, the larger number of probate cases.
While the Texas probate laws are largely uniform across the state, the probate system and process varies from county to county.
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Harris County is one of several Texas counties that have statutory probate courts. These courts only hear probate and guardianship cases and cases related to probates and guardianships.
Harris County has four courts, which are aptly named:
The judges for all four probate courts have agreed to the Harris County Local Court Rules, but each judge has their own manner of operating their court and for hearing cases. What works in one statutory probate court in Harris County may very well not work in another statutory probate court in Harris County.
So you have to consult the local rules and then know the procedures for each court. This is why it often helps to hire a probate attorney who regularly handles cases in the Harris County probate courts.
The Harris County Clerk maintains the probate records. If you are searching for probate records in Harris County, you can find them at the clerk’s office.
The Harris County Clerk is makes unofficial versions of the probate records available to the public for free on its website.
As noted above, you can research most probate records on the Harris County Clerk’s website. These records only go back a few years. If you need records from older years, you may need to visit the clerk’s office to do the search or contact the clerk and have them search the records.
Harris County generally does not provide probate forms to the public. This includes forms for muniment of title, affidavit of heirships, and small estate affidavits.
The clerk’s office will typically refer users to the Harris County Law Library for this.
With that said, there are a few basic forms that can be found on the Harris County Clerk’s website. They also have these same forms available in paper form in the clerk’s office.
We are experienced probate attorneys who frequently represent clients with sensitive probate matters in Harris County. We know the Harris County probate courts, the Harris County Clerk’s office, and the Harris County probate rules.
Do you need help with a probate matter in Harris County or the surrounding communities? If so, please give us a call us at 281-219-9090.