If you’re like many people, your knowledge of probate and estate administration is limited. The topic doesn’t come up much in general conversation, as talking about estate planning can be uncomfortable – and that’s completely understandable.
However, given the importance of ensuring your assets are distributed as you wish after your death, you don’t want to make estate planning decisions based on misconceptions. And since the internet is flooded with misinformation, getting the facts right can be a challenge. To address this, we’re sharing the truth behind several of the most widely spread myths about probate and estate administration in Texas.
The process of probating an estate doesn’t usually drag on a long time. Most cases are resolved within a year. But, that’s from the time the executor presents the will at court or, if there is no will, the time a petition for probate is filed. Under Texas law, a four-year statute of limitations applies.
Contrary to popular belief, if someone dies without a will, their assets don’t automatically go to the state. Instead, the property is distributed according to the Texas intestacy laws – and that means the assets go to the closest family members. The state only claims property when no relatives can be located.
Some people would rather leave their assets to their children, not their surviving spouse. But because Texas is a community property state, completely disinheriting a spouse isn’t easy. Any assets acquired during marriage are considered to be owned by both spouses equally, and to get around that, there must be a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place at the time of death.
For the majority of beneficiaries, seeking out assistance from a Texas probate and estate planning attorney is best. The process involves numerous complicated laws and procedures, and an experienced legal professional – one who’s familiar with the local courts and how estate administration works in Texas -- can simplify everything and ensure that probate goes as smoothly as possible.
Do you have questions about probate, estate administration or how to get your legal and financial affairs in order? For expert answers, turn to the professional team at Shultz and Kellar.
We’re experts in probate and estate planning, and with us, estate administration isn’t a complicated, time-consuming process. We’ve been helping people in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area and throughout northern Texas since 2012, and our legal team can organize your assets, make arrangements for your financial future and ensure that your estate plan reflects your wishes.
Schultz and Kellar is here to meet your needs, and we offer free, no-obligation consultations. To discuss probate and estate administration with an experienced Texas estate planning attorney, contact our office in Southlake, today.