Probate Lawyer Arlington, TX
When you have lost a loved one who left only a will, or nothing at all, calling a probate lawyer Arlington, TX trusts may be a good idea. At Brandy Austin Law, PLLC, we can help you to understand what steps should be taken next. Call our firm today to learn more.
Following the death of a loved one, emotions may be overwhelming. People might be telling you what has to be done, and others may be coming to you for belongings or assets. This is a sensitive time, but one that often includes confusion and a lot to get done. Having a probate lawyer in Arlington, Texas to help you along the way can be invaluable.
What is Probate?
When a person dies, their will must be submitted to the probate court nearest to the location where he or she lived prior to the death. If there was no will, or any kind of estate plan, the estate must still go through probate. An executor will be named in both situations, and he or she will have the responsibility of overseeing the process. Included in this process will be many tasks such as:
- Notifying all heirs who were named in the Will
- Notifying any creditors
- Filing owed state and federal taxes
- Gathering all assets
- Valuing assets
- Selling assets to pay any owed debt or taxes
- Distributing the remaining assets to the heirs
If there was no will, the court will follow the laws of intestate. In general, the assets will be distributed between the living spouse or children.
Does a Will Have to Go Through Probate?
In general, a will must go through probate. The exception to this may be when the estate is worth less than a certain amount, usually $20,000 to $40,000 (depending on the state). Additional ways to avoid the probate process is to place assets into a trust, or make use of retirement and life insurance accounts.
Contesting a Will
Unfortunately, it has become increasingly common for a will contest to occur. As a probate lawyer in Arlington, TX, we have handled a number of will contests on behalf of heirs who are being accused by a party that believes they should have been included in the will, but was not. We have also represented those who believe they were disinherited. Regardless of what party you might be, if there is a possible will contest, hiring an Arlington, TX probate lawyer is recommended. Reasons to contest a will might include:
- Undue influence
- Missing assets or money
- Lack of a witness
- Lack of testamentary capacity
- Multiple wills exists
- Alleged forgery
The Cost of Probate
Without the necessary planning, the probate process can be very expensive. The estate must pay any owed debt and taxes, as well as court fees, executor fees, and legal fees. If the process is drawn out, because of a will contest or any other hurdle, these fees will accumulate. The estate can lose as much as 15 percent or more if precautions are not taken. Whether you are planning your estate or are preparing to go through the probate process, call a probate lawyer in Arlington, TX to find out how we can help you.