Why we should all know what takes place at probate court

Bexar Co. Probate Court 2 Judge Veronica Vasquez talks importance of probate court

SAN ANTONIO – It’s one of the most important courts and also one that many aren’t familiar with -- probate court.

Probate court is one we all at some point may end up in.

“We touch every life in Bexar County,” said Bexar County Probate Court 2 Judge Veronica Vasquez.

Some of the cases heard in probate court include:

  • The approval of wills and estates
  • Small estate affidavits
  • Mental health commitments
  • Elder abuse and exploitation cases
  • Guardianship of an elderly person or special needs person over 18

“A lot of times what we see is aging parents or people over the age of 65. They now have Alzheimer’s, dementia and never got a power of attorney,” Vasquez said. “Or sometimes we have kids with special needs that are over the age of 18 and their parents need to now get guardianship of them.”

Probate court is not just for family. It’s also helpful if you suspect a friend is showing signs of needing guardianship.

“They can file what’s called a court-initiated 1102 form, and that’s a court-initiated procedure to appoint a guardian. And we’re required by law to investigate those matters,” Vasquez said.

The importance of probate court is why Vasquez has made sure to help educate the public to make it easier for them to understand what they need to know before heading to the courthouse.

Her probate court website includes many educational resources, as well as all the forms that are needed to be completed.

All that information is also translated in Spanish for those who need it.

For more information, visit the Probate Court 2 website.

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About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.