When a family member passes away, the legal process and confusion regarding the settlement of the deceased person’s (“decedent”) affairs can be frustrating and overwhelming. A family’s grief is often compounded by uncertainty and stress related to legal work needed to settle the affairs of their deceased relative. Our firm is available to help with the legal process for transferring the property of the decedent to his or her heirs or beneficiaries (i.e., probate, trust administration).
Because probate is a court-supervised process, there are many complex rules and specific procedures that must be followed in this specialized legal area. Texas has specific probate rules, deadlines, and procedures that must be followed to properly administer an estate. It is the job of the personal representative (“executor”), to administer the decedent’s estate in accordance with those laws.
Attempting to administer an estate on your own without the assistance of an experienced Texas probate attorney frequently leads to significant delays and confusion. Mistakes made in this area are costly: they cost you and the estate time and money. Our Texas probate attorney will help ease your concerns and anxieties by explaining the probate process to you and then guiding you every step of the way. We make all court appearances, prepare all court pleadings and documents, and help with your other duties as personal representative of the estate.
We offer a free initial consultation to learn more about how we can help you work through this process before it becomes a burden. Want to speed up the process? Schedule Your Consultation now.
- Probate of Wills for Decedents
- Conservatorships / Guardianships in Probate Court
In Probate administration, getting things done as quickly and efficiently as possible is beneficial for all parties involved. However, with all the requirements under Texas law, navigating the process can be extremely challenging. Our process is designed to ensure that your loved one's estate is administered as quickly as possible given the needs of the beneficiaries and the requirements of the laws.
Q. Does Every Estate Have to Go Through Probate?
A. No. In Texas, estates valued at $75,000 or less need not go through the probate process. The decedent’s heirs can file a Small Estate Affidavit. Not every estate will qualify for small estate administration, and this process can only be used in limited circumstances.
Q. What Are the Executor's Duties?
A. The Executor is the individual named by the Decedent in their Will who’s tasked with the administration of the estate. The Executor’s duties begin at the time of death and end when the last state and federal taxes are paid and the estate is closed. Some of the Executor’s duties include making an accounting of estate assets, the payment of any debts of the estate, and a final distribution of assets to the Beneficiaries.
Q. What Happens if I Die Without a Will?
A. Dying without a Will in Texas is called “Intestate”. If an individual passes away intestate, the process will be managed by a Texas Probate Court. In this process, the Court will make an official Determination of Heirship to identify the Decedent's heirs and their portion of the estate. The Court will also appoint an Administrator for the estate who will act in the same capacity as a named Executor. The Administrator has the same duties as the Executor.
Q. Is a Handwritten Will Valid in Texas?
A. Yes. Under Texas Probate Code, a valid handwritten Will must be entirely in the handwriting of the testator and signed by them. A handwritten Will doesn’t need to be witnessed and the language must show a present intent to dispose of property at death. For example, “This is my last will and testament,” is usually enough to show testamentary intent.
Valuation of Assets ▸
Letter of Testamentary ▸