Probate is a legal process that takes place after a person passes away. There are various types of probate proceedings and the decision of what action is required following the loss of a loved one is made less stressful with the assistance of a trained professional. A common misconception our firm has encountered is the mistaken belief that the preparation of a Last Will and Testament will eliminate the necessity for probate. While that is not true, probate is much easier if you have prepared a will prior to the time of death. While probate is not required in every situation, it can be necessary when there are disputes about the contents or meaning of a will, or when there are claims from creditors against the estate, or countless other situations which require the Courts to intervene when disposing of the estate of a lost loved one. These are the situations where an experienced Probate attorney can provide invaluable assistance.
When probate begins, the following events will occur:
A deceased person’s will must be verified as valid;
The estate’s property must be identified and inventoried;
If appraisals are needed, they must be attained;
All debts and taxes must be paid in full;
Any remaining property distributed among beneficiaries.
When a person deceases and they have a valid and legal will, many times there remain legal issues to sort out in probate court. For instance, there may be creditors who need to be notified of the death of the debtor, so they can make a claim on the estate. On top of that, there may be parties to the will who feel they have a legal claim to some portion of the estate property. These situations can often become complicated. Emotions and money are mixed, and people can become heated when that combination of items is present. Having a lawyer on your side can ensure that the legal process is followed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Texas Estates Code, as annotated.
If you are trying to plan your estate or are in need of legal advice about probate, contact Wheeler & Wheeler, P.C. It’s always better to go into these situations with the support of a professional who will listen to your needs and assist you in finding a solution. A probate attorney can guide you through the process and work to finish the probate process quickly and efficiently.