To anyone who isn’t an attorney, the Texas probate process can seem quite daunting. Certain steps must be followed when probating a will or an estate, and disputes can arise. Plus, missing a deadline or making a mistake could result in serious consequences.
For all of these reasons, hiring an experienced Texas probate and estate administration lawyer to guide you through the process may be a smart decision. Below is a look at what to expect.
The Texas probate process starts with an application for probate to the court where the decedent resided. If there’s a will, that will be submitted and a judge will decide if the person named as the executor is qualified to serve. When someone dies without a will, the judge will appoint an administrator.
The executor or administrator is responsible for preparing an inventory of all estate assets, complete with descriptions and reasonably accurate valuations. Cataloging the decedent’s personal property, real estate and financial accounts can be both difficult and time-consuming – nonetheless, the inventory must be filed with the Texas probate court within 90 days.
Texas probate law requires that the decedent’s debts get paid with assets from the estate. However, all creditors are not treated equally – and the executor or administrator needs to follow the proper procedures, In addition, if the estate lacks the cash to pay bills, assets must be sold in order to generate the necessary funds.
Once the decedent’s debts have been handled, the executor or administrator is ready to distribute the estate assets according to the will or, if no will exists, according to the Texas intestacy succession laws. Sometimes, assets must be sold to provide beneficiaries with money. In that event, the estate may owe state and federal taxes.
If you have been name as an executor or administrator of an estate in Texas, the legal team at Schultz and Kellar can help you through every step of the probate process. Our attorneys know how to avoid unnecessary estate administration expenses and minimize estate tax liabilities – and with us, you can rest easy in knowing that everything will be handled properly.
Probating a will or estate can be complicated, but you certainly don’t have to take on the endeavor alone. The experienced probate and estate administration lawyers at Schulz and Kellar are here to help, and we’ll do whatever we can to meet your needs and reduce your stress. Contact us online or call our Southlake office for a free, no-obligation consultation to get guidance and advice on the Texas probate process today.