Probate Basics for an Estate

Probate Basics for an Estate

Contact our estate planning attorney to learn more

Our estate planning attorney in Plano, Texas always recommends that you take the necessary steps to plan for your future. When you take the time to properly document your final wishes you are helping ensure that your last requests are met and you are giving the gift of a lifetime to your loved ones by having the necessary documentation prepared. Many people also choose to pre-plan their funerals.
In the event that you pass and do not have your estate plan in place then one of your loved ones will have to apply to the court to have an administrator appointed to handle the settlement of your estate. This process, called intestate succession, is more costly, time consuming and difficult than probating a properly executed Will.

Probate process explained

The probate of an estate is the court-supervised process that legally recognizes the decedent's death and the jurisdiction of a court over the case. The main purpose of the probate process is to verify that the decedent either:

1)Has a valid will
OR
2)There is no will

If the decedent does not have a will then the court will appoint an administrator to settle the estate. An attorney ad litem will be appointed to investigate the possibility of any "unknow heirs" which adds to the cost of administration. The process is a lot easier for your loved ones to navigate when you clearly name an executor to handle the administration of your estate.
The executor/ administrator of the estate has specific duties that must be carried out such as:

  • Providing that the will, if one exists, is valid and legal or determining who are the proper heirs of the decedent (which in blended families may surprise you)
  • Gathering the assets of the property owned by the decedent
  • Determining the date of death value of the decedent's property
  • Arranging for the payment of the decedent's debts
  • Preparing and filling the required tax returns for the decedent
  • Distributing the net assets of the decedent's estate to his or her heirs/ beneficiaries
  • Providing notices to all distributees

Our knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you navigate the probate process. Contact our office today to learn more about our estate planning services.