Probate is the legal process that takes place after someone dies. It involves verifying the validity of the deceased person’s Will (if there is one), identifying and inventorying the deceased person’s assets, paying any debts or taxes owed, and distributing the remaining assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.
If someone dies without a Will, it is known as dying “intestate.” When that happens then Texas law determines the distribution of the deceased person’s assets among the surviving family members, which may not align with the person’s wishes. Generally, the deceased person’s assets will be distributed to their surviving spouse. If there are children outside the current marriage, however, such as from a previous relationship, those children will inherit property over the current spouse. To ensure your property passes according to your wishes, we recommend that you consult with an experienced attorney.
Online forms can be convenient and cost-effective, but they may not always be legally sound. These forms may not be tailored to the specific laws and requirements of Texas, and could result in errors or omissions that could invalidate your legal documents or complicate the process, making it more time consuming and expensive for your future executor to distribute your property. It’s important to consult with a qualified attorney to ensure that your legal documents are accurate and enforceable.
The length of the probate process can vary depending on the county where the Estate is filed, the complexity of the Estate, the number of assets involved, and whether there are any disputes among the heirs or beneficiaries. In general, probate can take several months to a year or more to complete. When you consult with us, we will give you an estimate based on the specific factors involved with your Estate matter.
In Texas, Estates can avoid probate if the deceased had a living trust, owned assets jointly with right of survivorship, or had certain types of non-probate assets like retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and bank accounts with a named beneficiary. If the deceased did not own any real property and their assets are below the small estate threshold, the beneficiaries may be able to claim the assets without probate. Texas also has a simplified probate procedure for small estates valued at $75,000 or less. By consulting with an experienced probate attorney, you can understand the options that apply to your situation, whether you are planning for the future or making decisions after your loved one’s passing.
The executor of a Will is responsible for managing the deceased person’s estate, including identifying and inventorying assets, paying any debts or taxes owed, and distributing assets to beneficiaries according to the terms of the Will. The executor will need to appear in court, file tax returns, and communicate with beneficiaries and other interested parties.
Yes, in most cases, a Trust can be changed or amended after it is established. This can be done through a process known as trust modification or trust amendment, which typically involves drafting a new document that supersedes or modifies the original Trust. However, the exact process for modifying a Trust will depend on the specific terms of the trust and Texas law, so it is important to consult with a qualified attorney if you are considering making changes to a Trust.
If you have a minor child, creating a trust in Texas can be an important part of your estate planning. A trust is a legal arrangement where a trustee manages assets on behalf of beneficiaries. By creating a trust, you can ensure that your child’s needs are provided for after your death because the trustee can manage and distribute assets according to your wishes.
In Texas, there are different types of trusts available, including revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, contingent trusts, special needs trusts, and charitable trusts. Depending on the type and when it was created, a trust can help protect assets from creditors, potentially reduce estate taxes, and avoid probate.
It’s important to consult with a Texas probate attorney to determine whether a trust is right for you and to help you choose the appropriate type of trust for your needs.
In a personal injury case, you can recover damages for physical impairments, pain and suffering in the past, chronic pain, disfigurement, mental anguish, future medical care, lost wages, and other related harms and losses resulting from the injury you suffered. For example, if a fall or car wreck caused shoulder or back pain, you may have difficulty engaging in activities or performing chores. Texas law allows compensation for these limitations caused by someone else’s negligence.
However, insurance companies often undervalue the amount of compensation you are owed, particularly for pain and suffering, because those damages are not as easily quantifiable as medical expenses. This may result in you receiving less compensation than you are entitled to for the full extent of your damages. An experienced Personal Injury attorney can help you receive the full compensation you deserve and ensure that all of your damages are considered.
In Texas, you generally have two years from the date of the incident that caused the injury to file a personal injury claim in court. However, there are exceptions and nuances to the statute of limitations, so it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney to understand the specific requirements that apply to your case
If you believe you have a personal injury case in Texas, take the following steps: