The death of a loved one can be a period of intense emotional transition. While you are adjusting to your loss, an experienced probate attorney can help you navigate the unique circumstances of your loved one’s estate without adding significant additional stress to your changing life.
“Probate” is the legal process of proving a Will is valid or invalid, although the term is often used to refer to the larger process of estate administration.
Some elements of estate administration include:
- Submitting the Will and a properly prepared application to the appropriate court for probate;
- Securing the appointment of an executor;
- Fulfilling all court-ordered duties of an executor or administrator;
- If the decedent died without a Will (“intestate”), determining the best strategy for efficient administration and recognition of intestate heirs;
- Collecting the decedent’s assets and paying debts such as income taxes, funeral expenses and final medical expenses in accordance with the creditor priority rules as set forth in the Texas Estates Code;
- Transferring assets to beneficiaries and/or trusts in accordance with the Will;
- Preserving, liquidating and/or distributing an estate’s business interests as well as making any applicable tax elections;
- Filing and paying estate taxes, if applicable; and
- Undertake post-mortem planning if advisable.
Every estate is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to estate administration. Retaining an attorney whose practice focuses entirely on wills, trusts and estate administration can help guide you through the process as efficiently as possible.