Probate

PROBATE WITH A WILL

When a loved one dies and leaves behind a will, there are a number of things to consider. From transferring property titles to handling bank account information, it’s important to have an attorney experienced in all aspects of probate. Depending on the assets outlined in the will, you may or may not have to admit the estate to the probate court, which is where an administrator will be appointed. If your loved one has recently died and you’re unsure how to handle their will, our probate attorneys in The Woodlands offer step-by-step instructions. It’s our goal to give you the tools necessary to understand the process so that you can grieve the loss of your loved one peacefully.

PROBATE WITHOUT A WILL

For many families, dealing with the loss of a loved one who has not left behind a will, also called intestacy, can be overwhelming. Depending on the amount and type of assets owned by your loved one, having a court proceeding may or may not be required.

Our probate attorneys offer the following services to help you walk through the process:

  • Affidavit of Heirship – A form that can be filled for beneficiaries to quickly establish ownership of real property and avoid probate court.
  • Determination of Heirship – A heirship proceeding that requires a probate lawyer to help find suitable 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.

WHY DE FORD LAW FIRM?

Understanding the ins and outs of legal proceedings can be overwhelming especially when it comes to the probate process. The attorneys at De Ford Law Firm are passionate about helping families get the support they need during such a difficult time.

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PROBATE DOCUMENTS

LETTER OF TESTAMENT – DECLARING AN ESTATE ADMINISTRATOR
An essential 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. An estate planning attorney with experience in the probate process should write up this document. Our De Ford Law Firm team has the knowledge to prepare these documents accurately.

CLOSING OF ESTATE – 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 other judicial judgment. Texas Muniment of Title can give you an easy and less expensive method of settling the decedent’s estate.

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 need 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 the deceased leaves.
  • 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 the beneficiary
    • Decedent’s name
    • Acknowledge that the decedent’s will has been submitted to probate
    • Let the beneficiary know that their name was included in the will
    • Include the estate executor’s name and contact information
    • A copy of the will and the court’s acceptance of the will to probate
  • Sworn Affidavit to Beneficiaries – Within 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’s appointment, a detailed list of all assets the decedent owns must be submitted to the court.

Our estate planning and probate attorneys proudly serve The Woodlands, TX, with trusted legal advice and support. Settling a loved one’s estate and distributing their assets after they’ve passed is a complex process. Regardless of the unique circumstances of your situation, we’re committed to making the process as hassle-free as possible.