The legal process for estate administration
Probate is the legal process of administering an estate after someone dies. Through probate, property passes directly to the beneficiaries named in a decedent's will. Executing this process includes performing the following tasks:
- Proving that a deceased person’s will is valid
- Identifying the deceased person’s property
- Supervising the property appraisal process
- Paying debts and taxes
- Distributing property as directed by a will
- Transferring title and ownership of assets to the proper beneficiaries
When you are dealing with the aftermath of a loved one's death, a knowledgeable estate planning and probate law attorney can be your best resource for navigating through the maze of probate and its required process and documentation. Let the steady hands of Shelton & Reecer P.L.L.C., board certified in estate planning and probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, help you through a potentially devastating time.
Frequently Asked Questions about probate
My mother just died and I have her will. What do I do?
According to Texas probate law, whoever has possession of the will must deliver it to the clerk of the court that has jurisdiction of the estate upon receiving notice of that person's death. If you refuse to do this, you can be liable to the beneficiaries for damages.
How do I know that probate is even necessary?
An attorney well versed in Texas probate law is able to discern whether your particular situation requires probate, and if so, what documentation must be prepared. Most probate proceedings are straightforward and handled relatively quickly and inexpensively.
What are letters testamentary?
When a will exists, letters testamentary are documents from a probate court that appoint or confirm a person as executor of an estate. If a person died without a will or the executor has died or is unwilling to accept the position of executor, these letters are called letters of administration.
What are the duties of an executor?
The executor follows Texas law to wrap up the decedent’s affairs by—
- Giving the proper notices to proper parties
- Collecting the decedent’s property
- Receiving claims against the estate
- Paying valid claims and disputing others
- Distributing estate property according to the will or state law
- Selling estate property to cover debts or allow for proper distribution may also be necessary
When you need help in dealing with the aftermath of a loved one's death, rely on the Denton County law firm that specializes in this area. Call Shelton & Reecer P.L.L.C. at 940-382-3168 or use our convenient online form to tell us about your situation.