At Weisinger Law Firm, PLLC, our Schertz probate attorneys are committed to providing attentive, reliable legal representation to individuals, families, and beneficiaries. We handle the full range of probate law matters. Whether you are looking for strategies to avoid probate, you have questions about the property distribution laws in Texas, or you are trying to navigate the probate courts, we are here to help. To set up a free, strictly confidential consultation with an experienced Schertz, TX probate attorney, please contact us today.
As explained by the Texas State Law Library, probate is the legal process through which a court recognizes a person’s passing and then oversees the administration of their estate—including the settling of their debts and transferring of their assets to beneficiaries.
During probate, a Texas judge will confirm that a will is legally valid and appoint a representative (an executor) to ensure that the instructions included within the will are followed and that every person gets the property/assets that they are supposed to receive. If there is no valid will, then the estate will be administered in accordance with the rules and procedures established by Texas law.
If you have any specific questions about probate or you are currently locked in a dispute, our Schertz probate law attorneys are always available to help. We are here to offer guidance and support to protect your legal rights and financial interests.
In a Texas probate case, the first question that needs to be answered is the following: Is there a valid will? The process is a lot easier and less complicated when there is a will in place. Still, even with a professionally drafted will, going through the probate process can be stressful and overwhelming.
At Weisinger Law Firm, PLLC, we walk our clients through every step of the process, ensuring that everything is completed as carefully and efficiently as possible. Assuming there is a valid will—and there are no serious disputes over the meaning of the terms in the document—probate can actually be a relatively smooth process.
A few weeks after a will is filed with the court, a hearing will be held. During it, an executor can be appointed. Upon assuming the position, the executor becomes responsible for notifying creditors and identifying/gathering all assets and property included within the estate.
Among other things, the executor will be required to provide the probate court with a comprehensive inventory of assets. Once approved, all of the creditor claims can be handled and property can be distributed to beneficiaries in accordance with the instructions contained within the will.
Probate is usually a more complicated and confusing process when there is no will in place. In Texas, passing away without a valid will is referred to as dying ‘intestate’. In this scenario, the decedent loses control over what will happen to their property and assets. Instead, their estate will be handled under the standards set forth by Texas law (Texas Estate Code § 201.001).
To start, we will need to determine the precise marital history and familial history of the deceased. Typically, a type of legal filing call an ‘Application to Determine Heirship’ will be submitted. Usually, a probate court will also appoint its own qualified professional to verify familial relationships. When there is no will in place, property/assets go to the person’s closest living relative. Under Texas law, the order of succession is:
2. Children; and
3. More distant next of kin.
When there is no will in place or there are serious questions about the legitimacy of a will, it is not uncommon for disputes to arise. Our compassionate Schertz, TX probate lawyers have the skills and experience needed to handle cases involving probate without a will and other issues of intestate succession. If you have any questions or concerns about your legal rights or the probate process, we are here to help.
At Weisinger Law Firm, PLLC, our Texas estate planning attorneys have extensive experience handling the full range of probate matters. Your case deserves individualized attention from an experienced attorney. If you have questions or concerns about probate, we can get you answers.
To arrange a free, fully private consultation with a probate lawyer, please contact us today. We represent clients in Schertz and throughout the surrounding communities in Guadalupe County, Bexar County, and Comal County.