Where to File for Probate in Texas

“Venue” is a legal term relating to where it is proper to bring a lawsuit.  Venue for a probate matter is decided in the following manner.

  1. If the person who died (“the Decedent”) resided in Texas, the probate should be filed where he or she lived.
  2. If the person who died did not have a residence in Texas, then you file the probate in the county in which:
  3. the Decedent’s principle estate was located at the time of his/her death; or
  4. the county where the Decedent died.
  5. If the Decedent died outside of Texas, you should file for probate:
  6. in any county in this State in which the Decedent’s nearest of kin resides; or
  7. if there is no next of kin of the Decedent in this state, you file in the county in which the Decedent’s principal estate was located at the time of the Decedent’s death.

Texas law used to provide that you could file EITHER where the Decedent lived, where he/she died, OR in any county where they owned property.  Now, the law has a default that you must first file in the county where the Decedent resided, if he or she was a Texas resident.