Dallas, TX Probate Lawyer
Probate is one of the more confusing and overwhelming aspects of estate planning for many people. For those in need of legal services in regards to a deceased family member’s will, it can be very beneficial to consult with a probate lawyer. At Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, we’re dedicated to helping our clients manage estate planning needs for their families.
By definition, probate is the process of administering the estate of a decedent. The many probate tasks are handled by an appointed representative, and can be summed up in four general steps.
1. Petition Filing & Notice to Beneficiaries
The process of probate starts with the filing of a petition with a Dallas, TX probate court. This petition is either to 1) move the will forward to probate and appoint a representative; or 2) appoint an administrator for the estate if no will was created. A hearing notice for the petition will be sent to all beneficiaries and heirs. Then, in response, they have the option to accept or object the petition. It is common for a hearing notice of this nature to be published in a local newspaper, in an attempt to notify creditors or any other relevant parties.
2. Inventory of Property
A representative will give written notice to estate creditors, based on the state law. A Dallas, TX creditor who wants to submit a claim on estate assets must do so within a specific period of time. The duration in which a creditor can claim assets varies based on state laws as well. An inventory of the property is performed, including stocks, bonds, housing property, and other forms of assets. The probate court may appoint an appraiser to value these assets if needed. In some cases, an independent appraiser is appointed to estimate values for various types of non-cash assets.
3. Paying Funeral Expenses, Debts and Taxes
The representative has to decide which claims from the creditors are valid and submit payment. Any other remaining bills related to the estate are paid. These creditor claims and bills are paid for from the estate. In more rare cases, the representative can sell assets of the estate in order to meet the decedent’s obligations. The probate process can quickly become confusing and complex for family members. By consulting with a probate lawyer you can have an experienced professional address any questions or concerns during this time.
4. Legal Titles are Transferred
The court is petitioned by the representative for authority to transfer any remaining assets to beneficiaries based on what is written in the decedent’s will. However, if no will was created, then the assets are distributed based on Dallas, TX intestate succession laws. When the petition is approved, the representative can transfer stock, create property deeds, transfer property, and/or liquidate assets. A probate lawyer can offer legal assistance if you believe the representative is not handling your loved one’s assets correctly.
Contact Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC
We believe in doing what we can to help protect the legacy of your loved one, and we understand the importance of handling estate planning documents with care. Call us today to schedule your first consultation with a Dallas, TX probate lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC.