Estate & Probate
Safeguarding your family’s financial security by Wills or Trusts is a critical process, and we at WAGNON LAW GROUP, PLLC, know that this process is one of the most important provisions that one considers, even early on in life. At WAGNON LAW GROUP, PLLC, our Wills and Trust attorneys have a history of helping clients establish a plan for protecting their estate’s valuable assets so that these assets can be protected and provide for the future benefit of your loved ones.
The Wills attorneys and Trust attorneys at WAGNON LAW GROUP, PLLC, can help you evaluate the current financial picture of your estate. We will help you establish an effective plan that will protect your assets in matters related to taxes, property transfers and elderly care eligibility. We also know how to address the administration or probate component of your Will or Trust, and we can provide suggestions to assist you in making these important decisions as well as draft simple to complex Wills and Trusts that will meet you and your family’s needs.
Estate planning is a very important endeavor. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, who has had life’s experiences, in the Will and Trust process and who will take the time to explain your options and find a solution that is appropriate based on your unique personal and financial circumstances is also important. Please contact one of our Texas estate planning lawyers or one of our Will lawyers at WAGNON LAW GROUP, PLLC, for a consultation. At WAGNON LAW GROUP, PLLC, we believe that our clients’ needs and desires are paramount and that is the key to our success.
Our skilled estate attorneys and probate lawyers work together with our firm’s experts across a variety of disciplines that impact your estate’s assets such as financial planning and tax issues. Our estate planning attorneys will contact the necessary experts to make sure that your Will or Trust is drafted properly.
When a family member or loved one dies in Texas, the person’s estate will typically have to go through the Texas probate process in order to properly administer the estate. Please click the links below for more information on administering the probate process.
- Overview of the Texas Probate Process – Read about what you can expect when starting the probate process in Texas when a loved one dies.
- Probating a Will in Texas – Probating a will in Texas is an important legal process that allows the heirs of a decedent to obtain their rightful share in the estate’s assets. Learn how to get a will probated in Texas.
- Determining Heirs in Texas – A proceeding to determine heirship in Texas is typically used when a person who owns real or personal property, dies without leaving a will. Learn how to file an application to determine heirship in the state of Texas.
- Texas Intestacy – The Process of Opening an Estate Without a Will – If the decedent’s assets cannot be automatically transferred and there is no will, then there are two avenues to opening an administration in Texas – independent administration and dependent administration.
- Muniment of Title – Transferring Property in Texas Without Appointing an Executor – This is exclusive to Texas and happens in cases where a decedent has left a valid will and real estate property in Texas that needs to be transferred.
- Texas Small Estate Affidavit – Read about the process of if a decedent dies without leaving any will and his estate is less than $50,000 in value.
- What is Texas Probate Administration? – Texas Probate administration is the process by which a court oversees the payment of debts and the distribution of assets of a deceased person.
- Assets in Texas that Do Not Have to Be Probated – All assets do not necessarily need to be distributed by Texas probate. Read about the type of assets in survivorship accounts that are not probated.
- Ancillary Administration – Ancillary administration, sometimes also called supplementary administration, becomes necessary when the decedent owns property or perhaps even business holdings in a different state than the one in which he or she resides.
Probate is the process of transferring ownership of a decedent’s property to the intended beneficiaries after his or her Will is verified by the court system. It also encompasses the administration of the decedent’s estate, collection of debts due to it, and payment of its creditors.
While initiating the process can be simple, the probate process can be complex. When a loved one dies, seeking the advice and assistance of a Texas probate lawyer can help make the process faster and easier.
Probate: The Steps
The majority of people who begin to probate a will quickly discover that they need the assistance of a Texas probate attorney. A Texas probate attorney has obtained the education and experience necessary to navigate the Texas probate process. A legal professional understands what it takes to meet the requirements of the Texas Probate Code. Some of the steps your attorney will take include:
- Submitting an application to probate the decedent’s Will.
- Attending a hearing and providing the court with the proof they need to validate the decedent’s death and admit the Will to probate.
- Furnishing the Will and/or codicil to the court.
- Putting creditors on notice of the decedent’s death by publishing a notice in the paper and by sending a letter to the creditors.
- Sending out notices to the beneficiaries of the estate.
- Taking inventory and appraising the assets of the decedent.
- Submitting an application to establish an allowance for the decedent’s family, if necessary.
In a nutshell, probate is the manner by which the court recognizes the death of a person who owns properties and authorizes another to handle its administration.
The process begins by filing an application for probate before the appropriate Texas court. After this filing, the law allows a two week waiting period before a hearing on the probate application starts. During this period, the county clerk will order the posting of notices to inform the public of the probate application. Absent any protest, the court will move forward with the probate proceedings for the administration and recognition of the validity of the Will.
In the course of the proceedings, the court will appoint an executor or administrator to oversee the estate. The law attaches important duties to this designation; accordingly, the court will determine the qualifications of those to be appointed as executors or administrators of the estate.
With the complexities attendant to these proceedings, it is highly advisable to hire the services of an experienced Texas probate attorney to facilitate the process.
Wills and Trusts are essentially a set of finely drafted instructions which will assist your executor/trix or Trustee in the distribution of your assets upon your death or in the case of trusts, your incapacity or death. Some Trusts can even begin while the person forming the Trust is living and that person can even be Trustee until his or her death occurs. There are many different types of Trusts and Wills that can be drafted and many different types of provisions that can be added to a Trust or Will to protect the distribution of the person’s estate. Having a Will that is drafted properly can be an effective way to ensure that your assets are distributed to the proper beneficiary(ies) according to your wishes. Also, as stated above, as a part of the Will, an executor/executrix will need to be named, who will be in charge of filing for probate and distributing the assets of your estate as named. The Will lawyers and Trust lawyers of WAGNON LAW GROUP, PLLC, are dedicated to helping you protect your assets and your estate and in distributing your assets to the appropriate individual(s).
At WAGNON LAW GROUP, PLLC, our attorneys can construct your Will and Trust to ensure that your will is distributed as well as assets being properly transferred into the Trust that you establish.
Our firm can handle the creation of:
- Simple Wills
- Living Wills
- Complex Wills, including tax saving provisions
- Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts
- Charitable Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts
- Pet Trusts
- Gun Trusts
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Medical Directives
- Affidavits of Heirship
- Small Estate Planning
- Large Estate Planning
Our probate attorneys and estate planning attorneys will work meticulously to craft an estate plan that will keep your current and long-term best interests in mind, and we will allow you to be secure in mind that your loved ones will be provided for. Careful planning at an early stage in your life can save your family time and expense in the future.