Business Law, Litigation and Family Services

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Probate

Probate With A Will

If you’re loved one dies and leaves behind a will, you may think the title to property transfer process will be easy. However, there can still be many complicated steps involved in transferring title to property. Depending on the assets outlined in the will, you may or may not have to admit the estate to probate court, where an administrator will be appointed.

DeFord Law Firm offers family law services that can assist you with the probate administration process in an easy-to-understand way so that you can focus more on grieving the loss of your loved one.

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Probate Lawyer
Probate Lawyer

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Probate Without A Will

If your loved one dies without a will–also called intestacy–there are several different processes that may need to occur. Some procedures don’t require a court proceeding while others might.

If you have a unique situation, consider getting a probate lawyer in The Woodlands, TX who can carefully lead you through this often complicated process. When dealing with transferring your loved one’s assets after his/her death, consult a probate attorney at DeFord Law Firm. We can move you through the necessary steps in a seamless way so you can focus on caring for your family.

  • Affidavit of Heirship – a fast way for beneficiaries to establish ownership of real property and avoid probate court.
  • Determination of Heirship – our attorneys can facilitate the process of finding the heirs to the deceased.
  • Small Estate Affidavit – If the deceased estate value is $50,000 or less, excluding homestead real property, and other requirements are met, you may be able to transfer assets via an affidavit rather than going through the probate process.

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Letters of Testament

An important part of the probate process is declaring an estate administrator. A letter of testament is a document granted by a court that states the person acting as legal executor for an estate. This type of document should be written up by an estate planning attorney who has experience in the probate process. Our team at DeFord Law Firm has the knowledge needed to accurately prepare these documents for you.

Probate Lawyer
Probate Lawyer

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Probate Executor Requirements

There are some requirements that the Texas Probate Code mandates from executors and administrators in any probate proceeding. Depending on the type of probate, you may have to submit some of the following documents:

  • Notice To Creditors – A notice informing potential creditors of the deceased that a probate proceeding is pending. It also provides creditors information to get paid for any outstanding debt left by the deceased.
  • Notice To Secured Creditors
  • Notice to Beneficiaries – The executor or administrator of an estate must give notice of a probate proceeding to every beneficiary under that will. Some of the provided information should include:
    • Name and address of beneficiary
    • Decedent’s name
    • Acknowledge that the decedent’s will has been submitted to probate
    • Let the beneficiary know that his/her name was included in the will
    • Include the estate executor’s name and contact information
    • Provide a copy of the will and the court’s acceptance of the will to probate
  • Sworn Affidavit to Beneficiaries – Withing 90 days of admitting the will to probate, the estate’s executor must file an affidavit to the probate court that states the completion of notices to beneficiaries.
  • Inventory, Appraisement List of Claims – Within 90 days of an executor appointment, a detailed list of all assets owned by the decedent must be submitted to the court.

As an estate administrator, need help with your legal requirements?
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Closing of Estate

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Muniment Title

A muniment title is a document that indicates the legal ownership of an asset–mainly, a real piece of property. A muniment title typically cannot be used for items such as bank accounts or similar assets belonging to the deceased individual. This could be a will, deed, title, or any other judicial judgment. Texas Muniment of Title can give you an easy and less expensive method of settling the decedent’s estate.

Probate Lawyer
Probate Lawyer

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Guardianship

When a loved one dies and leaves behind a child or incapacitated adult there are procedures required to get court granted guardianship of these people and their finances. Some misconceptions surround child support and custody procedures and the adoption process. Although some tasks may be similar, guardianship requires many different and specific tasks related to probate. There are two types of guardianships after a loved one dies:

1. Guardian of the person – someone appointed to make personal, medical, and welfare decisions for minor children or an incapacitated adult who cannot make decisions for themselves.
2. Guardian of the estate – someone appointed to make financial decisions related to assets of minor children or an incapacitated adult who cannot make decisions for themselves.

Need help from experienced probate lawyers? We can set up an appointment to further discuss your guardianship needs along with the entire probate process.
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