Foreign Wills can be Probated in Texas

Dear Mr. Premack: The deceased was a resident of South Dakota, and owned property in there and in Texas. The will was probated in South Dakota. Does the executrix have to file probate in Texas to cover the property in Texas? – JJPN

Under Texas law, in this situation her South Dakota Will is referred to as a “foreign Will”. It can be admitted to probate in Texas by filing an authenticated copy of the South Dakota proceedings with the Texas probate court. When properly filed, it is deemed admitted to probate in Texas without even having a court hearing. The foreign Will is then effective to pass title to the Texas real property. If you don’t need letters testamentary in Texas, then the authenticated copy of the South Dakota probate can be filed directly into the deed records in the county where the Texas land sits, and title is conveyed as set out in that probated Will.

Paul Premack is a Certified Elder Law Attorney and a Five Star Wealth Manager (Texas Monthly Magazine 2009-2013) practicing estate planning and probate law in San Antonio.

Original Publication: San Antonio Express News, September 17, 2010

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Paul Premack, 2019-2020 President of the Texas Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is *Certified as an Elder Law Attorney ( CELA ) by the National Elder Law Foundation as accredited by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and the ABA. He is licensed to practice law in Texas and in Washington State, and handles San Antonio Probate and Bexar County Probate, Wills, Living Trusts, Estate Planning, and writes the legal column for the San Antonio Express News.

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