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Probate

This is a guide to statutes, books, and online resources on the topic of probate of an estate.

Research from Home

If you have a library account in good standing, you can check out an OverDrive e-book title or access our remote databases. Don't have a library account? Texas residents can register for a library account from home! Learn more about how to register from home.

Below are some e-book titles that may help you with your research on probate.

Resources at the Texas State Law Library

Below are some of the library resources that can provide further guidance on this topic. The Texas State Law Library has many other resources in addition to the highlights we present below. Please call us at (512) 463-1722 if you have any questions about these materials.

About This Guide

Many estates will go through probate in court after a person dies. Below are some resources to help understand the laws surrounding this process. Because probate can be very complicated, it is usually necessary to contact an attorney with specific questions. Please refer to the "practice aids" tab to locate drafting guides and other practitioner-oriented resources.

Texas Law

Probate is primarily discussed in the Texas Estates Code, which was added to be effective Jan. 1, 2014, replacing the Texas Probate Code. Some older resources may reference the Probate Code, but that information will now be found in the Estates Code. If you find these statutes difficult to understand, you may want to view the “plain English” resources on this page or speak to an attorney.

Explained in "Plain English"

Because Texas and federal law may not be easy to understand, below you'll find a collection of resources that help to explain the law in “plain English.”

Forms

Below are links to free forms available from Texas organizations. Many forms are not available online and you may need to consult print resources or subscription databases available in your law library. You may also want to contact the clerk of your probate court to inquire about the availability of specific forms for your county.

Who Can I Contact?

Legal Research Guides from the Texas State Law Library

The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem [PDF]. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at library@sll.texas.gov.

Important:

The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.

Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.