Probate is the court-supervised process of settling a person’s estate after passing away. The main purpose of probate is to ensure that estates are transferred to their rightful heirs and stated beneficiaries. It is done to ensure that fraud does not occur and that the estate is administered according to Texas law. The executor of the estate, usually a family member, is responsible for managing the process and, as a fiduciary, must serve the best interests of the decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries.
If you have been named as the executor of the estate of a family member or friend or you are an heir, beneficiary, or another interested party who needs legal assistance with a probated estate, the Law Office of Jason Brown can help. The probate process can be complicated and requires an understanding of the applicable laws. Our Fort Worth probate lawyer can guide you through the process, ensure that the estate is administered according to law, or provide representation in any probate matter that goes into dispute. Putting a competent probate lawyer in Fort Worth on your side can ensure that the process is handled properly and that any unforeseen problems are resolved.
The Probate Process in Texas
Several steps need to be taken to administer and settle a deceased person’s estate. Executors must comply with all of the steps. If disputes arise about any aspect of the matter, they are settled by the court; this may involve probate litigation.
Generally, the probate process includes the following:
- The estate planning documents of the decedent must be located. If a will exists, it will provide instructions as to whom the person named as his or her personal representative is as well as instructions for the distribution of assets, property, and personal belongings.
- A petition must be filed with the local probate court.
- The will must be verified as either valid or invalid. If no executor was named in the will, the court will appoint a personal representative.
- Beneficiaries and creditors of the estate must be notified.
- The personal representative must identify and have the property and assets valued as well as prepare a list of any debts that the estate owes to creditors.
- The court formally declares who the heirs and beneficiaries are in the estate.
- The personal representative must pay all valid debts as well as final tax returns.
- After all debts have been paid and any disputes handled, whatever remains in the estate is distributed to the heirs and beneficiaries. The distribution is done per the instructions in the will or, if no will, according to the inheritance laws of the state.
As you can see, the probate process involves many tasks for the estate administrator to handle. Our firm can assist you with all aspects of the above process, including preparing and filing necessary documents, notifying creditors, appraising or assessing the value of assets/property, and more. Our Fort Worth probate attorney can also represent those with disputes regarding a probated estate, whether an heir or other party. At the Law Office of Jason Brown, you will have personalized service throughout the process with access to your attorney whenever questions or concerns arise. Contact the Law Office of Jason Brown to schedule a free initial consultation with our Fort Worth, TX probate attorney at (817) 900-3892.
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