If you are looking for an Arlington, TX probate lawyer, Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC may be able to assist your needs. Having years of experience, we understand the intricate process and laws that pertain to probate. To get started, you can call an Arlington probate lawyer at our firm for a free consultation.
The Probate Process
When consulting with an Arlington, TX probate lawyer from the Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, you may have questions about the overall probate process. Probate is a procedure through which the court system oversees management of a deceased individual’s assets. It is an expensive process that ensures that before the deceased’s estate is distributed to any heirs in the will, all of the deceased’s debts are paid. Whether or not a will is present does not matter. If the individual who has passed has not left behind a will, the estate will go into probate automatically. Probate laws do vary by state, but there are many common similarities amongst jurisdictions. In Texas, probate typically follows the same set of steps. It often begins with filing various documents with the probate court. An Arlington, TX probate lawyer can do this for you to ensure everything is properly filled out and submitted to the proper authority under deadline. From this point, an executor will need to be appointed and the estate will need to be opened. Being represented by a probate lawyer Arlington TX offers can make this step much smoother.
Before the probate process begins it can be a good idea to have an Arlington, TX probate lawyer discuss how probate can affect your family and any alternative options that may exist, including the creation of a trust. By taking these measures, you might be able to avoid part or all of the probate process. This can save your heirs time, money, and the frustration often associated with the probate process.
The Types of Probate
In Texas there are three different mechanisms to administer an estate; these are:
- Independent administration
- Dependent administration
- Muniment of title
Each of these are different types of probate and may have specific applications under the law. In many instances, they may be unique to Texas regulation. For this reason it’s advisable to seek an Arlington, TX probate lawyer who is well versed in these areas.
The Role of the Executor
An executor may have very defined responsibilities that must be fulfilled during the administration of an estate. Prior to accepting this role, it is prudent that the obligations are thoroughly understood; otherwise there could be risks involved (i.e. civil action). An Arlington, TX probate lawyer can further explain this role to you during a free consultation.
Which Assets Go Through Probate?
As your Arlington, TX probate lawyer will explain, during the process of probate, assets that are jointly owned will go to the owner who has outlived the other. Any named beneficiaries will be given assets solely owned by the deceased, such as bank accounts or retirement funds.
Property that the deceased owned, especially if it was a percentage of property that was considered an investment, is subject to probate. Also, assets owned only by the deceased and that were not left to any named beneficiaries–for example, cars or boats–must go through probate. However, if the deceased has a will and a beneficiary is not named in that will, the probate process will have a court appoint a beneficiary to manage the deceased’s property. This individual will have the power to distribute assets and to file documents in order to complete the probate process, as well as to legally accept a portion of the deceased’s property as payment for their help in managing the estate.
All that said, as you’ll realize when working with an Arlington, TX probate lawyer, each case is different. Often, assets avoided in the probate process can include:
- joint accounts;
- property named in a living trust;
- awards from life insurance policies;
- a retirement account that names a beneficiary;
- co-owned savings accounts or bonds;
- commissions, wages or salaries that were due to be given to the deceased before death; and
- any co-owned vehicles or boats that are registered on death forms to be transferred.
There are more simplified procedures for probate that offer smaller values of the estate, which are called summary probate. Read about When Probating a Will Is Necessary.
Alternatives to Probate
Sometimes an estate does not include assets or issues that require that it goes through the formal probate process. To find out more, discuss your options with an Arlington, TX probate lawyer who knows what may work best for you based on your unique situation.
How a Probate Lawyer in Arlington TX Can Help
You may want to consider contacting a probate lawyer Arlington TX trusts, so that he or she can explain how to avoid probate before you pass away. Any of your assets that are not protected by a living trust or a will are likely to go through the probate process. The best chance that you have to avoid probate entirely is to hire an attorney to help you through the process. The right Arlington, TX probate lawyer will talk you through appointing an executor, create a living trust or will to help protect your assets after your death, and help distribute your assets to beneficiaries.
Call the Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC Now for Trusted Legal Advice
Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC has a team of lawyers who are well versed in the probate process in addition to estate laws, tax regulations, trust formalities, and wills. We will be happy to discuss your needs and inform you of your options. You can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your best interests are being considered. Your attorney can be honest and upfront with you at all times so that no unnecessary time or money is wasted.
If you are ready to speak with an experienced Arlington, TX probate lawyer, call 817-841-9906 for a free consultation.