What is Probate?
Probate is a court-supervised legal process for distributing the individually owned assets of a deceased person. Assets are distributed to beneficiaries in accordance to the instructions written in the person’s will, or according to Texas law if the person died without a will. Upon the death of a family member our probate attorneys offer legal services to your executor. The executor is responsible for seeing that the assets of the estate are distributed properly and in a timely manner. An overview of the valuable guidance we provide includes:
- Review of the executed will or the estate situation if there wasn’t a will
- Gathering of all assets of the estate
- Explanation of executor’s responsibilities
- Estate tax analysis
- Collection of death benefits
- Creation of sub-trusts
- Transfer of property
- Payment of any remaining debts
Texas Probate Process
In most cases, Texas has a streamlined probate process, and there are also several less expensive non-probate alternatives that can save your family significant money, including a muniment of title and affidavits of heirship. These tools are often especially useful if the only assets to be transferred are a home, small bank accounts, or in-state real estate.
To Probate or not to Probate?
If you have a valid will then the Texas probate process is relatively simple and efficient. The key being – a valid will and the probate process will take less time and money. Without a will it is different story.
However, there are still reasons to consider an estate plan that avoids probate. Some of the negatives of Probate are:
- Lack of Privacy: The will becomes public record after death
- An open door to a Will Contest: Family members inheriting might not be happy on the split of the estate and can contest the will
- No Access to cash: Assets will only become available on completion of the probate process, which means that no immediate access to cash can be a problem to family members trying to pay bills
- Creditors and Predators: As the Will is public record, creditors of your beneficiaries can seize the inheritance to pay for outstanding debt.
Contact our probate attorneys today to discuss your probate needs and alternatives to ensure the process is simple and effective for your loved ones.
Probate Lawyers – Weeks Law Firm
If revocable living trust planning is the process of designing a playbook, trust administration occurs when the playbook is put into action. The process begins with an event that triggers a provision in your revocable living trust based estate plan, such as incapacity or death. The plan provides for the individuals you designated in your plan documents to step into action and execute according to your instructions.
Trust administration can be complex and the people you have designated must have competent and experienced counsel to guide them through the process. They must make important decisions ‘ sometimes quickly ‘ and they need help to make them wisely. They may need to prepare inventories of your property, prepare tax returns, or sign other important documents on your behalf. Ultimately they must divide and distribute your property to those individuals or charities you identified in your will or trust agreement.
The Trust administration process carries a lot of responsibilities. We can help guide your loved ones through the process as sensitively and completely as possible, and will try to make it as straightforward and efficient as possible.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
- "Teresi's listening and response skills are commendable as a counselor working with an aged population."Testimonials 1
- “I considered filling out a DIY kit from Staples at first, but I had no idea how much was involved. Weeks Law Firm gave me good advice on things besides just filling out a will. I’ve been apprehensive about lawyers in general, and everyone there made me realize my concerns were unfounded. I have already recommended you to my local Plano/Frisco friends.”Testimonial 2
- "Tresi is an excellent communicator, listened to us, explained the issues, and came up with a good plan for us."Testimonial 3
- "We had what I thought were some unique issues, but Tresi was very familiar with them and knew what to do. Tresi was great with us, understanding and sympathetic to our issues."Testimonial 4
- "You are the only lawyer I know and trust with the plans and distribution of all the funds of our life’s work."Testimonial 5
- "We appreciated that Tresi explained things so well and was patient until we understood everything."Testimonial 6
- "The Weeks Law Firm is a very nice and professional environment. We are so thankful Tresi helped us prepare our Wills so that our future will be protected."Testimonials 7
- "I was provided with the information that I needed but didn't know I should ask for. I knew Tresi was very knowledgeable and the staff helped me feel comfortable about the whole process. Tresi even gave me a hug when I left with my final documents!"Testimonials 8
- "Your Christian principles and faith-based approach definitely helped me in this important decision. Tresi Weeks is a great listener and very caring in her response."Testimonials 9
- "I was pleased with the outcome of my services from Weeks Law Firm.I felt like I did not have to go through a very trying time in my life alone. My attorney cared about me and my situation & communicated with me regularly and kept me updated. I would use Weeks Law Firm again in the future & would refer someone else to Weeks Law Firm."Testimonials 10
- If you want impersonal, adequate legal service, there are a lot of law firms to chose. If you want a firm that will become a part of your family and that you trust with your most intimate needs -- the Weeks Law firm is the only service to go with.Testimonial 11
- "When you are working with the dedicated professionals at the Weeks Law Firm to guide you through important legal and financial decisions and working with experienced educators at centers such as ours, you once again have that vital “team” which will advance your son or daughter to the next level."Testimonials 12