In Texas, estates are settled through Probate court, so every estate, whether there is a Will or not, must go through this process. For most estates, Probate is just a formality that only takes a few weeks. But if a problem does arise, you will want a Texas probate attorney representing your interests in Probate court.
How Does Probate Court Work in Texas?
When a person dies, the court must be notified of the death. If there is a Will, a copy must also be filed with the court at this time. The judge will have to approve the Executor named in the Will in order for the proceedings to move forward. After a waiting period of about two weeks, during which time others may come forward to contest the Will, a hearing will be scheduled to settle the estate and distribute assets. It is the job of the Executor to locate and document all estate property, pay bills and any outstanding debt, and distribute the assets once everything has been verified by the court. Problems, such as the following, can arise at any point of the process:
- Disagreement about who the Executor should be
- Dispute over the validity of the Will
- Introduction of a second Will
- Questions about who the rightful heirs are
- Complaints about actions the Executor has or has not taken
The Probate judge will hear testimony and review evidence in order to make a ruling when one of these kinds of problems arises.
What a Probate Attorney Can Do for You
If a close loved one dies and you are the family member in charge of dealing with the business side of things, contacting a Texas probate attorney should be the first thing you do. It is our job to handle all of the filings and paperwork, to represent the Executor in court, and to represent your interests if a dispute arises.
Have questions? Get answers from our experienced probate and guardianship attorneys today. With four offices throughout Northeast Texas, we are conveniently located for clients from Dallas to Little Rock. Call or fill out our contact form to get started today!