Scheduling Open
6671 Southwest Fwy, Ste 490-A
By Appointment Only

Do You Need a Texas Death Certificate for the Probate Process?

The death certificate is generally needed to start the probate process. A death certificate must be filed with the State of Texas within 10 days of death. This time frame is not always met.

When there are questions about the cause of death or the cause is uncertain, the medical examiner may have to conduct an autopsy or investigation before the death certificate can be issued.

The death certificate will include the following information:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date and location of death
  • Age of the deceased
  • Gender, race, and marital status of the deceased
  • Hospital name or institution in which they died
  • Cause of death
  • Address of the deceased
  • Date and place of birth
  • Name of the deceased person’s parents
  • Birthplace of parents
  • Date and place of burial

This information is used in the probate process. Many people may believe that once a person has died, their estate will automatically pass on to their next of kin. However, if the deceased’s will or trust is not in place and there are outstanding debts and/or taxes owed by the deceased, probate proceedings must be initiated in court.

Uses for the Decedent’s Death Certificate in the Probate Process

The death certificate serves as a record that the person died. Before a probate is initiated, it may be used by the survivors to access accounts, get life insurance proceeds, or make arrangements for the burial or cremation.

The death certificate will typically be provided to the decedent’s bank and financial institutions, insurance companies, the funeral home, and the person who will administer the probate estate.

Steps to Get a Texas Death Certificate: Are Court Proceedings Necessary?

Texas death certificates can be obtained through the county clerk’s office in the county of the deceased’s residence or the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. If the certificate is requested directly from the state, it can take up to 4-6 weeks to arrive.

For deaths within the past 25 years, only the immediate family members to the person whose name is on the death certificate are eligible to get a copy. Immediate family members include, by blood or marriage, the child, parent, sister, brother, grandparent, and spouse.

Those who are not immediate family members can obtain a copy of the death certificate with a written, notarized statement signed by an immediate family member. Others who are not immediate family members must provide legal documentation to demonstrate the need for the record, such as a court order establish guardianship.

To obtain a death certificate, the applicant must present one of the following documents: a state-issued driver’s license or a state/city/county ID card, a student ID, a government employment badge or card, a prison ID, or a military ID.

Do You Need to Hire a Probate Attorney in Houston to Settle an Estate?

Do you need help with a probate matter in Houston-metro area or the surrounding communities? We are experienced probate attorneys who represent clients with sensitive probate matters. If so, please give us a call us at 281-219-9090 or use the contact form on our homepage to see how we can help.

Free stock photo of adult, anxiety, baby loss Stock Photo

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process of settling an estate after someone dies. Part of this process includes proving the decedent’s will is valid and appointing an executor to carry out the decedent’s wishes. One of the first steps in probate is obtaining a death certificate.

What is an estate?

Many people think of an estate as real property or a bank account. But the law considers an estate to be far more than that. Depending on the state in which you reside, it can include such things as real property, personal property, and tangible items of value such as jewelry and art.

In the simplest terms, an estate is everything that a person owns. But there is more to it than that. Depending on the state in which you reside, your estate can include real property (a house or land), personal property (items of value such as jewelry, art, or vehicles), and intangible assets (such as stocks and bonds).

It’s important to note that not all states have the same definition of an estate. For example, some states consider real property to be separate from personal property, while others lump them together as just property. And some states exclude certain types of assets from an estate, such as life insurance policies or retirement accounts.

What does probate mean?

Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property to their rightful heirs or beneficiaries. The probate process begins with the executor of the estate filling out a probate petition and sending it to their local probate court for approval. Once approved, this creates an executor’s oath which must be signed by the executor and at least one witness.

What is probate court?

Probate court is a court in which the estate of a deceased person is administered. The court appoints an executor or administrator to oversee the estate and to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries. If the deceased person left a will, the court will follow the instructions in the will. If the deceased person did not leave a will, the court will follow the laws of intestate succession.

Who needs death certificates when someone dies?

After someone dies, their death needs to be registered with the government. The first step in this process is to obtain a death certificate. This document is important because it is the official record of the death. Death certificates are used to settle the estate, claim life insurance benefits, and for other legal purposes dealing with property. A death certificate is a document that is signed by a doctor, medical examiner, or coroner that declares the cause and time of death of a person. Do not ask the funeral home for the death certificate. The Funeral home doesn’t issue death certificates.

Related Posts