Southlake Probate Lawyer
Guiding You Through the Probate Process
Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person's estate. If you have been named the executor of a loved one's will, you will likely need to go through the probate process. Even if the deceased did not leave a will, the estate will still need to be probated.
At the Law Office of Mark M. Childress, we understand how important it is for you to get through the probate process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our Southlake probate lawyer is highly experienced in all aspects of probate law, and we are ready to put our knowledge to work for you.
What is the Purpose of Probate?
Probate is the legal process by which a deceased person's estate is administered and distributed under the supervision of the court. It involves proving in court that a deceased person's will (if they had one) is valid, identifying and inventorying the deceased person's property, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining property as the will (or state law if there is no will) directs.
In Texas, the probate process typically follows these steps:
- Filing an Application for Probate: The executor named in the will, or an interested party, files an application for probate in the county where the deceased person lived. This starts the probate process.
- Notification to Heirs and Beneficiaries: Notice of the probate proceeding must be given to all heirs and beneficiaries named in the will.
- Probate Hearing: The court schedules a hearing to validate the will and appoint an executor or administrator to manage the estate.
- Inventory and Appraisal: The executor or administrator compiles an inventory of the deceased person's assets and obtains appraisals if necessary.
- Payment of Debts and Taxes: The estate's debts, including funeral expenses, taxes, and outstanding bills, are paid from the estate's assets.
- Distribution of Assets: Once debts and taxes are paid, the remaining assets are distributed according to the terms of the will or Texas intestacy laws if there is no will.
- Final Accounting and Closing: The executor or administrator submits a final accounting to the court detailing all transactions involving the estate. Once approved, the court issues an order to distribute the remaining assets and officially closes the probate case.
It's worth noting that in Texas, there are simplified probate procedures available for small estates or estates with no real property. Additionally, some assets, such as those held in a trust or with named beneficiaries (like life insurance policies or retirement accounts), may bypass probate and transfer directly to the designated beneficiaries.
How Long Does Probate Take in Texas?
Probate can be a lengthy process. The length of time it takes to probate an estate will depend on several factors, including the size of the estate, the complexity of the estate, and whether any disputes arise. In Texas, the probate process typically takes at least six months, but it can take much longer, especially if the estate is large or there are any disputes.
Is Probate Necessary in Texas?
In Texas, probate is not always necessary. If the value of the estate is less than $75,000, and there is no real estate, then the estate may qualify for a small estate affidavit. In addition, assets that are held in a living trust, assets that are held in joint tenancy, and assets that have a designated beneficiary are not subject to probate. However, if the estate does not qualify for a small estate affidavit, and the deceased did not have a living trust, then probate will be necessary.
How a Southlake Probate Lawyer Can Help
The probate process can be complex and time-consuming. If you are the executor of a loved one's will, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of having to go through the probate process. A lawyer can help.
At the Law Office of Mark M. Childress, we can assist you with all aspects of the probate process, including:
- Identifying all of the deceased's assets
- Inventorying the assets
- Appraising the assets
- Paying off any debts
- Transferring the assets to the beneficiaries
Our Southlake probate lawyer is committed to providing you with the compassionate and personalized legal representation you deserve. We will work with you to develop a plan of action that is tailored to your specific needs and goals. Our firm can also help you understand your rights and responsibilities as the executor of the will, and we can guide you through any disputes that may arise.
My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice.
“Value a capable team with experienced staff. For the past 9 months, the folks at the Law Offices of Mark Childress handled my case with class and empathy. My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice. I felt like I was kept in the loop and always briefed properly. As I move forward with other ventures I wouldn't be surprised if we crossed paths again. And hats off to Konner, THANK YOU!”
Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client.
“I needed an attorney who would stand up for me and my child during a very hard time. Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client. He was very knowledgeable not only about the law but about the opposing attorney and the judge. He prepared me well and we won our case. I would recommend Mark Childress to anyone who is fighting for custody or in need of child support.”
I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care.
“I called in inquiring about a divorce and how it all happens. I had 2 people call me back within an hour and in an hour maybe 2 I was talking with the lawyer. I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care. Divorce is the hardest thing we will go through minus losing a kid and his team will be retained. He even called me back himself the next day to see how I was. Great service.”
This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years.
“This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years. He had my case figured out in 1short conversation and had what he called "a convoluted mess" fixed. I'm pretty sure my ex felt like he'd been hit by a bus. My family is finally in tact and everyone is finally happy.”
Direct Access To Your Attorney
Our Attorneys personally handle each case themselves. You will have direct access to your attorney to be able to get the answers that you need.
TransparencyHonesty and transparency are critical in building trust with your attorney. You will always know what is going on with your case every step of the way.
At our firm you're not just a case number, our staff will always know the status of your case and help to make your situation more manageable.
Personalized ApproachOur team understands that no two cases are the same. Your strategy will be tailored specifically to you and your family's goals.