General Probate Process & Responsibilities of an Executor

Arlington Probate AttorneyWhen an Arlington Probate Attorney at the Brandy Austin Law Firm hears the words “Simple Probate” many things run through their heads. In generally speaking of the Probate Process, an Arlington Probate Attorney at the Brandy Austin Law Firm advise many individuals that are not aware that there are in fact several types of Probates and each type of Probate has different filings that need to occur with the Tarrant County Courts and surrounding counties.

The Typical Tarrant County Probate Process that Brandy Austin Law Firm is speaking of today is that of a Simple Tarrant County Probate. The Typical Probate process consists of an Original Will with a Self-Proving Affidavit attached to the Will. This type of Will enables the attorney to prove-up the Will more easily and less complicated for the Arlington or surrounding counties clients as well. Without having this type of will, additional disinterested witnesses (people not benefiting from the Estate) and also the subscribing witnesses of the original signing of the Will have to come to the hearing and testify.

When having a simple valid Will, the Tarrant County Probate Process of an Estate is more easily flowing and aside from cheaper costs of Probating the Will, the protocols and deadlines are similar in the typical Probate process. At the Brandy Austin law Firm located in Arlington, Texas we strive to assist our clients in filing the appropriate documents with the Tarrant County or surrounding Counties correctly the first time of filing.

Once you have established your witnesses, Oaths, Orders, and Proofs that have to be prepared by your Arlington Probate Attorney you have three mandatory deadlines that are expected from the Tarrant County Courts. After the prove-up hearing where the client has been sworn in as the Executor or Administrator of the Estate, the first deadline to be completed within thirty (30) days consists of notifying all the heirs of the Estate. Most of the time this is an easy process; however, sometimes you have heirs that need to be located and this could be time-consuming. Once the heirs-at-law have been identified the Arlington Tarrant County Probate Attorney will prepare an official Notice and file with the Courts.

The second deadline is to Notice the Creditors that again your Arlington Attorney at the Brandy Austin Law Firm has to prepare and file with the Courts. The Arlington Probate Attorney also has to prepare an Affidavit of Compliance and file with the courts to avoid any penalties against the client and or Estate. This is the step to officially notify any creditors against the Estate. A benefit of hiring a Probate Attorney from the Brandy Austin Law Firm is that the Probate Attorney has the authority to negotiate these claims for the heirs-at-law and is able to lower if not dissolve the debt in its entirety.

The most important deadline for a typical Tarrant County Probate or surrounding county probate is the preparation and filing of the Estate Inventory. This can be a complicated process due to how large the Estate is let alone how to divide the assets accordingly. If the Inventory is not filed within ninety (90) days from appointment as Executor or Administrator or a Motion for Extension is not filed the Courts can penalize a client for delay by making them pay a fine. Therefore, it is imperative that the client(s) always communicate with their Probate Attorney at the brandy Austin Law Firm, paralegal and requests from the Firm.

Once the Inventory has been filed with the Courts, the Order Approving the Inventory has been signed by the Judge, the Arlington Probate Attorney at the brandy Austin Law Firm can then begin to assist with the division of assets to the heirs-at-law. This too can be a complicated process due to Receipts of Devise and preparing the correct Affidavits and Receipts of Devise to ultimately excuse the Executor or Administrator of their duties and responsibilities. As an Executor or Administrator, they have been appointed by the Courts and are ultimately reliable and held accountable for all assets from the Estates. The Brandy Austin Law Firm located in Arlington, Texas strives to be fair and equitable when it comes to all asset divisions down to the last penny. The Brandy Austin Law Firm clearly do not want any bad faith claims or accusations towards our client’s or the Estates that the Arlington Probate Attorneys handle. We strive to achieve all deadlines prior to the actual demand for them, and to assist our clients with the most effective knowledge and preparation of the Arlington or Tarrant County Probate processes. Without having the knowledge to prepare for the demanding deadlines, filing of appropriate Motions and Orders to the Courts has proposed several penalties against the clients. At the Brandy Austin Law Firm, located in Arlington, Texas serving surrounding Counties with Probate matters; we get it right the first time.

At the Brandy Austin Law Firm located in Arlington Texas, we thrive at informing our clients as to what their Responsibilities as an Executor is within the Tarrant County Probate Courts and surrounding counties.

Majority of people believe that after they attend the hearing appointing them as Executor or Executrixes of an Estate that the responsibility of the Executor ceases with receiving the Letters of Testamentary. The responsibility simply begins with swearing in the Administrator and the legal responsibility of administering the Estate officially commences.

Some of the responsibilities of the Executor are to notify of all the heirs that are to be a recipient of the Estate. This task alone can prove to be difficult at times when families drift apart through the years; however, the Executor has a fiduciary duty to notify all heirs at law and may even have to post an announcement in the local newspaper. Your Arlington Probate Attorney at the Brandy Austin Law Firm will assist you in meeting all scheduling deadlines.

After notifying all heirs and providing them with copies of the will if there is one, the Executor then has to notify all the creditors of the Estate by official publication. Once notice has been published, the Executor has to then begin to negotiate the outstanding bills that are against the Estate. With the assistance of an attorney, the debtors are more than likely able to accept a reduction of the balance owed by the Decedent. Our Arlington Probate Attorney negotiates on behalf of the Executor and has to keep a record of all funds paid on behalf of the Estate. The Executor has the final approval and must authorize payments to all creditors. The attorney then must keep a ledger of all payments paid and include them within the Inventory for the Courts approval.

With the help of your Arlington Probate Attorney, the Executor then must complete an Inventory, Appraisement and list of Claims due and owing for the Estate. The executor must Inventory all items of the Estate including real property and even personal items of the Decedent. Most Estates you are able to waive an appraiser; however the Executor is responsible for inventorying the entire Estate.  The purpose of this is to obtain the total value of the Estate so that the funds can be distributed to the heirs at law or the heirs that are listed within the Decedent’s last will and testament.

Once the Inventory has been investigated and approved by the Tarrant County Probate Judge; the Judge will then sign the Order Approving the Inventory. After this occurs the Executor then has the ability to begin distribution of the Estate. The Executor must provide the beneficiaries with copies of the Inventory and have the attorney draft receipts for the division of either property or funds that the beneficiary is to receive. All beneficiaries must sign for the acceptance of funds in order to relinquish the Executor from its duties.

After all funds have been distributed and the receipts have been filed with the Courts the Executor may now file to close the Estate. In order to officially close the Estate, all receipts for division of property must be filed, and all beneficiaries must receive Notice of Closing the Estate. The beneficiaries must sign a receipt of receiving Notice and relinquish the Executor from the Estate. If all notices and receipts have been filed accordingly to the Estates Code, then the Estate will officially within thirty (30) days after the last filing as been submitted.

The Executor is bound by the Courts and obligated to fulfill all duties of the Estate. If the Executor does not comply accordingly, then a dispute or a contest can arise from lack of maintaining the fiduciary duty to the Estate. The Executor must distribute all assets in accordance to the Last Will and Testament and if they do not then they are subject to removal as the Executor and can even have a lawsuit filed against them for misconduct, or even fraud.