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Probate FAQs

All probate cases are required to be filed by a licensed attorney. Please seek legal counsel for any questions.

What does the term Testator mean?
TESTATOR is one who has died with a legally valid Will.

What does the term Distributee mean?
DISTRIBUTEE is a beneficiary entitled to payment. An heir, one who obtains personal property from the estate of an intestate decedent.

What is the purpose of a guardianship?
A court may appoint a guardian with full authority over an incapacitated person or may grant a guardian limited authority over an incapacitated person as indicated by the incapacitated person's actual mental or physical limitations and only as necessary to promote and protect the well-being of the person. If the person is not a minor, the court may not use age as the sole factor in determining whether to appoint a guardian for the person. In creating a guardianship that gives a guardian limited power or authority over an incapacitated person, the court shall design the guardianship to encourage the development or maintenance of maximum self-reliance and independence in the incapacitated person.

What is a guardian?
One who has the legal authority and duty to care for another's person or property, because of the other's infancy, incapacity, or disability. A guardian may be appointed either for all purposes or for specific purposes.

What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a written document by which a person legally delegates to someone else a part or all of his/her authority to make legal decisions on certain matters on a short or long-term basis.

Are there any legal resources available?
 The legal assistance website www.texaslawhelp.org may be able to answer some of your questions; however, the only recommendation that can be made by the clerk's office is to consult with an attorney, as we are not able to give legal advice.