The decedent’s family members or loved ones have to act to secure the decedent’s property after the death. This can present a number of challenges.
Texas law generally says that an interested person can act to secure or preserve property. But doing so can also subject the person who does so to civil and possibly criminal liability. Where is the line between securing property and doing something that is illegal? The law is not all that clear.
The rule of thumb is that acts taken to secure property should be documented and precautions taken. This may include bringing witnesses to having police supervision, keeping photographic evidence, etc.
As described later in this guide, an application for emergency intervention or a temporary probate administration may be needed to secure the decedent’s property.
With property located in Texas, the method for securing the property varies based on the type of the property. Real property can be secured by contacting the mortgage, tenant, and/or other interested parties. It can also include changing the locks. Cash and checking accounts can be secured by transferring them to an account owned by the estate.
There are other property that can be more difficult to secure, such as operating businesses and digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies.
Property located outside of Texas can also present unique challenges. Texas law only goes so far. For property located outside of Texas, the law for the other state has to be considered. This may require ancillary probate in the other state, which will be covered later in this guide.
When property cannot be secured, it may be necessary to consider a temporary administration. We’ll address temporary administration next. Click here to continue reading. >>>>
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