After the death of a loved one, probating an estate can be a difficult and emotionally charged endeavor. Probate can be simple, in the case where the deceased has a will and there are no complicating factors, to extremely complex, in cases where wills are contested or various relationships are unclear.
Steps in the Probate ProcessIn Texas, there are a number of steps that must be carried out in order to legally probate an estate. These include filing a will with the court, if one exists, having it validated, preparing a listing of assets of the estate, a listing of creditors with claims against the estate, and a hearing of any contests (disagreements) over how assets of the estate are to be divided. Again, having legal counsel from attorneys experienced in Texas probate law is critical to successfully navigating this process.
If there is no will, an administration proceeding will need to be filed. Many of the requirements of probating a will also apply to an administration proceeding. An administration proceeding appoints a personal representative of the estate so that the estate can be distributed amongst the heirs, once the heirs are identified and adjudged to be heirs of the decedent.
Do I Need An Attorney?
Most courts in Texas require an administrator of an estate to be represented by an attorney. This is because the administrator has duties to other persons besides themselves and only licensed lawyers can represent other parties in court. Additionally, due to the nuances of probate law, an experienced Texas probate attorney is required to competently advise you during the process. The results of inaccurate or incomplete advice can be devastating to an administrator, potentially creating liabilities they are unprepared to fulfill.
Eddington Worley, PC