This is Texas. We don’t give much credence to out-of-state judges telling us how to do things, especially when it concerns Texas property.
While it seems incredible to most of us, occasionally there is a person who owns Texas property yet chooses to live in another state. When such a person dies – most likely from making additional questionable decisions – then that person’s Will is probated in his home state.
That out-of-state probate does absolutely nothing to pass title to his Texas property. We don’t even recognize the probate action occurred.
Instead, to be recognized in Texas and to pass title to Texas property, his Will has to be admitted in Texas. Chapter 501 of the Texas Estates Code gives authority to do just that.
The written foreign Will can be admitted to probate if it affects Texas property and proof is presented that it was probated or established in another state or foreign nation. That means at least two probate actions – one in his home state, and one in Texas. The Texas application must include an authenticated copy of the other state’s probate proceedings, the names and addresses of each devisee under the Will, and each person who would have been an heir if there had not been a Will.
As for the authentication – Texas is pretty cynical about foreign documents and won’t accept just any photocopy. It will only accept an authenticated copy that is attested with the original signature of the court clerk from the foreign jurisdiction, includes a certificate with the original signature of the foreign judge stating that the attestation is in proper form, and has the foreign court’s seal affixed.
Even that may not be enough. A foreign will that was admitted for an ancillary probate here can still be tossed if it was proved that the state of the original probate wasn’t actually the person’s home state at the time of his death.