So, do you have to hire an attorney to navigate the probate court process in Texas? Most of the time, yes. Texas courts usually require an executor to be represented by an attorney in a probate matter because an executor not only represents himself, but also the interests of beneficiaries and creditors. Texas law only allows a licensed attorney to represent the interests of others, therefore, preparing and filing pleadings in a probate matter without the assistance of counsel would constitute the unauthorized practice of law. Although courts allow limited exceptions to this rule, the result is that executors in Texas almost always have to hire an attorney to navigate the probate process.
The following is an example from the Denton County Probate Court’s Local Rules, explaining that the court does NOT allow individuals to represent themselves (also called “Pro Se”) in probate matters before the court:
Jacob Wooley, a partner and estate planning attorney with Thomas Walters, PLLC, is ready to guide you through the complex world of estate planning. If you would like to meet Jacob and learn more about how best to protect yourself and your legacy, call 682-422-3495 to schedule your free, one-hour estate planning consultation.