The time period directly after a loved one passes away can be emotionally taxing and stressful. It can be difficult to determine how to proceed with a deceased loved one’s property. These decisions can be even more difficult if they passed away without a will. At BTR Law, our compassionate Angleton probate attorneys can effectively guide you through probate so you can focus on healing.
What Is an Estate?
An estate consists of all a person’s property they owned when they died.
Property can include:
- Real estate
- Retirement accounts
- Life insurance policies
In Texas, the law requires that all debts be paid before a deceased person’s property can be distributed among the surviving heirs and beneficiaries. Even if this person had a will, their debts must be paid in full either through monetary reimbursement or through the proceeds of the selling of real property.
The Probate Process
After someone passes away, it is the responsibility of the remaining family members to begin the probate process. To begin, someone must complete an application for probate with the court.
Texas law requires individuals to provide the following:
- The estate holder’s date of death
- The estate holder’s address
- The names of all heirs and beneficiaries
Individuals are also required to submit a copy of the will with the application. If the deceased passed away without creating a will, probate can still be completed. However, without the existence of a will, the court determines how estate assets are distributed.
Once the application has been submitted, a notice must be posted telling the public of the estate holder’s death. This is to give any creditors an opportunity to collect any debt the estate holder may have had. The notice is posted for 2 weeks and after this period the estate can be distributed to heirs and beneficiaries.
Commonly, an executor is either assigned by the will or the probate court to handle the cataloging and distributing of the estate assets. This person is responsible for creating a listed inventor of all real and financial property of the estate to ensure the estate is valued completely and correctly. Additionally, the executor is responsible for disbursing estate assets to the intended parties.
Sometimes a dispute arises in the probate process. For example, if there is no executor named in the will, individuals may disagree over who should be responsible for asset distribution. Or a dispute may arise concerning the validity of a will.
Generally, the judge will resolve these disputes through a number of different measures. For example, if the validity of the will is questioned, the judge will hear the testimony, review all available evidence, and come to a decision.
Here to Help You Through the Legal Process
BTR Law understands that going through probate can be emotionally challenging. Our Angleton probate attorneys will be by your side every step of the way to ensure the process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.
"Thank you so much for all the help Patton, you are a lifesaver!"M. H.
"Thank you so much for your time and helping me with my situation."E.
"Very professional, and handled everything. I would highly recommend."Diane P.
Contact Us Today
BTR Law provides residents of Angleton with sound and comprehensive legal services. You can count on our experienced attorney to treat your case with the professionalism it deserves.