What are My Options for Avoiding Probate?
The best way to avoid probate is to have an estate plan that takes your property out of your probate estate, such as accounts with right of survivorship, transfer on death deeds, Lady Bird deeds, and trusts.
Can Probate Ever Be a Better Option Than a Living Trust?
Probate is not better than a trust. Probate takes longer, costs more, and quite literally, invites people to challenge how you wanted things distributed.
Who are the Main Players in a Probate Case?
The primary player in a probate case is the executor of the will or administrator of the estate if there is no will. Then you have the lawyer for the estate, a separate lawyer for anyone inheriting who is incapacitated or under the age of 18, the creditors of the estate who must be paid, and any party who challenges any part of the proceedings.
What are Some Common Barriers Someone May Face in the Probate Process?
The hardest situation is when there is no will and there is a dispute about who the heirs are. The determination of heirship must be completed before someone can be named as the administrator of the estate. This can take significant time and several hearings depending on the nature of the disputes. We try to get agreements between family members as much as possible to avoid the cost of court intervention.
What Actually Happens During the Probate Process?
Probate is simply the state’s way of handling someone’s death. There are several procedural hoops that must jumped through in every probate. Certain filings must be made in a certain order, and certain hearings must take place.
What is the Standard Timeline for a Probate Case?
The probate of a will with no disputes will take about 7 to 9 months.
What is the Role of an Attorney in the Probate Process?
The attorney makes sure that all procedures are followed, all creditors are properly notified and, if necessary, paid, and all proper distributions are made.
What Do You as an Attorney Do to Minimize the Risk of Delays?
We always try to get agreement from all involved. This avoids disputes which could derail a probate action. We stay in contact with our client and schedule hearings well ahead of time so that all necessary persons can attend.
What are Some Common Costs Involved in the Probate Process?
In Travis County, the filing of an application to probate a will costs $319. An application for appointment of an administrator of an estate without a will and a determination of heirship costs $775. Letters testamentary or letters of administration cost $2 each. There are other court costs for various items, such as orders, annual reports, inventories, etc.
Can Someone Realistically Try and Navigate Through a Probate Case on Their Own?
It is not recommended. There are some filings that can be done pro se, such as filing a muniment of title or a small estate affidavit. An executor represents the interests of beneficiaries and creditors. This responsibility to act for the benefit of another is known as a fiduciary relationship. It gives rise to certain legal obligations and responsibilities that require legal expertise. The lawyer you hire represents you in your capacity as executor and assists you in representing those for whom you are responsible.
What is the Outcome Someone Can Expect When a Probate Case Ends?
Generally, the outcome of the probate case is the final settlement of the estate. When all creditors have been paid, and all distributions have been made, that is the end of the probate action.
What Sets Your Firm Apart in Handling Probate Matters?
We have seen probate cases from all sides. We handle simple probate actions and we have handled complex probate disputes. We know what can go wrong and how to avoid it.
For more information on Options to Avoid Probate in Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 288-3200 today.