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Probate


Probate Attorneys in Houston, Texas


Probate attorneys in Texas often get a lot of questions related to wills and probate. Very broadly, estate administration refers to the judicial proceeding concerned with transferring a decedent’s assets to surviving heirs after death. This, however, is a lot more complicated than it sounds.

Probate issues are one of the many things that people take for granted. Our estate planning attorneys in Texas & Illinois can assist in creating an estate plan that allows a simpler administration of the estate upon death. We will help you throughout the probate process, guiding you through the legal process to reduce stress and inconvenience for you and your family.

Avoid stressful probate proceedings by speaking to our Houston probate attorneys at Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law. Send us a message or call us at 832-479-4499 today.

What is a Probate?


Probate is the legal process taken to distribute a person’s estate after they pass away. Estate assets must be disbursed in a manner consistent with state laws and following the directions they put forth when they were alive. The latter, in particular, refer to those stated in their last will and testament. The executor of the will or estate administrator deals with the estate’s assets through the documents called Letters Testamentary and Letters Administration.

Although there is a Uniform Probate Code, the actual legal process you will follow in a particular case will depend on the guidelines outlined in relevant state laws. With this in mind, it is highly recommended to seek legal advice early on to help make things less complicated. Consult with knowledgeable Houston TX probate attorneys to avoid mistakes related to any estate planning document you create.

Our probate attorneys in Houston, TX will help you as you go through the probate process in Texas. Consult our Texas probate attorneys at Chargois Harper to find out how we can ease the complicated process of estate administration for you and your family. Call or send us a message and know how our legal team can protect your family.

Why Is It Important to Have a Good Estate Plan?


We will never know what will happen in the future. Times are uncertain, and unexpected events, such as encountering an accident or being afflicted with an illness, can affect our present and our family’s future. Estate planning is the proactive process of anticipating possible issues and scenarios, addressing them before they happen, and minimizing the frustration and emotional distress of losing a loved one.

Most of the time, one’s estate property is divided among family members of a decedent, except if a particular family member is disinherited. Here, the legal services of a trusted Texas probate attorney are necessary to ensure that the estate plan you create will be beneficial for appointed heirs and beneficiaries. Additionally, an excellent local attorney can also explain relevant state law on estate taxes. An estate tax or inheritance tax is often required, but applicable tax laws can be pretty confusing.

Preparing estate planning documents promptly and correctly allows you to rest more easily. It helps to know that your loved ones don’t have to deal with the additional burden of figuring out what you would want to do when an unexpected life event or death occurs in the family. The situation itself will likely leave them troubled and stressed. Make sure complicated legal proceedings will not aggravate it. Call us at 832-479-4499 to know how we can help.

Texas Probate Process


In simple terms, probate refers to the legal process where the probate court sees that estate assets are distributed according to the last will and testament of the deceased. In the absence of any wills, a court order will distribute personal property and other assets of the estate in a manner relevant to probate rules.

In terms of probate property, discussions on real property are especially crucial when someone dies. When a proceeding is brought to court, the Texas estates and probate code will determine how estate property will be administered following the decedent’s wishes if legal documents are available. Such distribution takes place after any debts owed are paid to the creditor concerned.

It is important to remember that not all estates have to go through probate. Bank rules, for instance, may allow a small account to be closed without probate. This, however, is not always the case. Our Texas & Illinois probate attorneys at Chargois Harper can provide legal assistance and explain whether or not probate is applicable given your case.

Dial 832-479-4499 and seek legal advice from knowledgeable and experienced probate attorneys in Houston, TX, who can help with your case.

When Is Probate Necessary in Texas?


Many people mistakenly assume that they would only need a probate attorney if their family member died without a will. This is not the case. If a testator, for instance, did not specify that their real or personal property will transfer to their surviving spouse upon their death, probate laws are put in place.

On the other hand, if your loved one did not leave a will, the supposed beneficiary and their probate attorney will deal with intestate probate. In such a legal proceeding, any concerned heir of the deceased person must consider intestate rules, which are comparable to that of a testate or will-based probate case.

Given the tedious probate procedure involved, many people take steps to avoid probate. Depending on the actual circumstance, however, avoiding probate may not be possible. It can, however, be a lot less stressful with legal help from seasoned probate attorneys. Get in touch with a reliable probate law firm early in the process. Our Houston probate attorneys can explain in detail how legal documents related to probate matters are processed in Texas.

How to File for Probate in Texas


In general, for probate proceedings to commence, a petitioner will have to file the death certificate and last will and testament at the relevant courthouse. With this are duly filled out court forms (Petition for Probate), which ideally should have been accomplished with the help of a probate attorney.

After an appropriate notice is given to interested parties and jurisdiction over necessary parties is proven to the probate judge, the appointed personal representative will receive a certification. Such will be required to open a bank account, get a tax identification number, and file applicable tax returns for the estate. After the beneficiaries approve the arrangement, the assets of the estate will then be distributed accordingly.

As mentioned, the actual probate procedure is under local statutes, which can significantly vary from state to state. A dedicated probate attorney in Houston can help ensure that you comply with all relevant probate and estate law in Texas. Call us at 832-479-4499 to get legal help with your probate proceeding.

What Are the Common Probate Forms in Texas?


Together with the Petition for Probate, there are various legal forms that you will likely need to accomplish. It is important to note, however, that each state and county will have different mandatory forms.

Certification And Notice Of Interested Parties


The certification is essentially documentation that the necessary notification to heirs, family members, and other interested parties has been made.

Notice to Creditors


Similar to the Interested Party Notification, this involves providing a notification to creditors and putting up the required notice in a local paper. Initial Inventory

Final Accounting


This legal document tells the court of all the estate activity you must duly accomplish for the legal proceeding to go smoothly.

Final Distribution


In this final step within the probate procedure, any remaining assets will be distributed to rightful beneficiaries. This will also discharge the personal representative from their responsibilities.

If you have legal questions on any of the above, contact our law office today. We can offer a free consultation to individuals and families who need help with probate and estate planning. We can also answer questions related to living wills, living trusts, joint tenancy, survivorship, and power of attorney. Call our Houston, TX estate planning law office at 832-479-4499 today.

How Can I Avoid Probate?


If the deceased’s estate is part of a probate case, you must fill out several court forms with legal supervision. Preparing numerous probate forms that you must file can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Additionally, given the nature and volume of probate matter brought to court, the actual proceeding could take a lengthy period of time.

Given the current court system, transferring property to heirs could take from six months to two years. This could also lead to unnecessary probate fees. Loss of privacy also becomes an issue. Since legal documents related to property transfer are filed at the courthouse, assets and intended beneficiaries become part of public information.

Additionally, as a supposed heir, distributing the estate assets of the deceased is not something that you would want to be done by someone else. While the estate executor will likely be a family member, there are instances when the appointed executor is not. In such a case, executors could be entitled to receive fees on top of appraisal and court fees that they must pay.

It is best to consult with a probate attorney to ensure that your actions will not lead to unwanted complications. Our Texas probate lawyers at Chargois Harper can provide the legal services that you need. Schedule a consultation with us to know how we can help you avoid probate in Texas & Illinois.

Preparing an Estate Plan for You and Your Family


Some people commit the mistake of drafting wills on their own. Experienced estate planning lawyers can attest how often this has resulted in a lot of unnecessary stress to your loved ones when you die. One might feel confident of appointing an heir or making decisions without getting legal counsel from experts, while others think that such is an unnecessary expense.

Estate planning laws can be pretty complex, and wills and trust are serious legal matters. Do not be tempted. Having an estate lawyer assisting you as you write a will ensures that you understand all aspects of estate planning laws comprehensively. Seek legal help before you create a will to ensure its validity. Estate assets are often quite significant, and you would want the right people to inherit what you worked hard for. Consult our probate attorneys in Houston TX to know how you can protect you and your family’s future.

Consult Our Houston Probate Attorneys Today!


In itself, the circumstance can be stressful when someone dies. You will need an attorney from a trusted law office to make sure that the process of dealing with legal matters is simplified. Trying to understand probate forms and the court system can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Deal with probate issues with a reliable estate planning law firm.

Additionally, knowing about the above is crucial if you are currently working on your estate plan. Many people are unaware that a last will and testament is not the only way to distribute one’s assets. Setting up trusts generally provides better asset protection and helps avoid probate.

A good Houston probate attorney can answer your questions on estate administration, testamentary letters, intestacy, or probate. Our Houston, TX estate planning lawyers can clearly and comprehensively explain to you estate planning laws and statutes in Texas & Illinois.

Call our Texas & Illinois family law firm at 832-479-4499 so we can help you with your estate planning, family law issues such as divorce and child custody, and real estate concerns. 

 

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