​​​​​Probate is the legal process following a person’s death that continues the inheritance rights of their heirs if there is no will, or the inheritance rights of the distributees under their will, if there is a will. Probate may be needed in cases where the deceased person left a will, and some cases where they died without a will.

Please note that we require an attorney to b​e involved in all probate cases requiring estate administration. Please see the below Useful Links section for resources to find probate attorneys in your area.

​Original Wills

​All original wills must be filed with the Probate Clerk’s Office​ within 3 days of e-filing the application to probate a will. Photocopies of a will can be used in some circumstances when the original will is missing and cannot be produced in Court.

A hearing will generally not be set until the original will has been received, unless the application to probate the will states that the original will is not available. Please ensure the application has been accepted in e-file before submitting the original will to the Clerk for filing.

Forms and Information

Small-Estate-Affidavit-211022020.pdfSmall Estate Affidavit Form - Please print single-sided
Zoom-Hearings-Instructions-205022023.pdfZoom Hearings - Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions

(1) Do I need an attorney to file a probate proceeding?
An attorney is not required to probate a will if administration of the estate is not necessary. An attorney is also not required to initiate small estate affidavit proceedings. However, an attorney is required if someone needs to be approved to administer the estate. Additionally, please keep in mind that if you have questions about any of the above processes, you may still find it beneficial to consult with an attorney on how to complete the process. Please see the Useful Links section for information on locating a local probate attorney.
(2) I am the family member of a decedent who passed away without a will. How do I proceed?
We recommend that you consult with an attorney. There is a simplified probate process that allows for the filing of a Small Estate Affidavit if the estate does not exceed $75,000 for a single person or $150,000 for a married person (not including homestead and other exempt property.)
(3) I am an interested party who wants to contest an application for probate. What do I do?
The process of challenging a will is very complex. You should consult an attorney if you are contemplating challenging a will.
(4) I am an attorney who needs to set a hearing in a contested probate matter. Who do I contact?
Attorneys seeking a setting for a contested probate matter need to schedule through our Court Coordinator, Shaunda McDonald-Willey, via email. Before emailing our Court Coordinator, please be sure to copy all attorneys in the case onto the email. A hearing will NOT be set unless all attorneys are included in this scheduling email. Contested guardianship hearings can be scheduled by reaching out to
(5) Can the Clerk’s Office assist me in the probate process?
The Probate Clerk’s Office can answer some questions about the mechanics of the probate process, but they cannot give you legal advice. You can get in touch with the Probate Clerk’s Office at (972) 548-6463.
(6) What should I do if I want a recording or transcript of a contested hearing that has already been held?
Please send your request to For maximum expediency, please include your name, the Cause Number of the case, the date the hearing occurred, and whether the case was held in person, over Zoom, or hybrid.

Useful Links

Texas Law Help - Small Estate Affidavits
Texas Law Help - Legal Aid Resources
State Bar of Texas - Find a Lawyer
Legal Aid of Northwest Texas
Texas Young Lawyers Asssociation - Probate Basics in Detail