What is probate?

Probate is the area of law that controls what happens to a person’s estate after he or she passes away, such as how property is characterized (community vs. separate, if the decedent was married), to whom the property passes, and in what proportions. It also governs the procedures used to make those transfers of property take place.

There are a number of probate procedures available in Texas. Some of these require that an application for administration be filed with a probate court, while others do not require formal administration. The proper procedure to use for your situation depends on factors such as whether there was a validly executed will, the type and amount of property in the estate, the identities of the heirs, and the objectives they wish to achieve.

Estate administration

Have you been named as an executor in a will? If so, I can help you prepare an application for probate, send out any notices required by statute, identify the assets that belong to the estate, notify creditors and process any claims made against the estate, and distribute assets to the beneficiaries. Executors owe fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries of the decedent’s will, and will benefit from representation by a competent probate attorney to avoid breaching those duties.

Has a loved one died intestate (i.e. without a validly executed will)? Unfortunately, it is too often the case that people do not have a proper estate plan in place. I can explain the consequences that this has on the decedent’s estate and your options for dealing with this situation.