If you have lost a loved one and he or she has left behind a Will, there are many things to consider. From handling bank account information to transferring property titles, you should rely on the expertise of a probate lawyer in The Woodlands, Texas. Depending on the assets in the Will, you may/may not have to admit the estate to the probate court.
In such an instance, an administrator will be appointed. If you have lost a loved one recently, and you are not sure how to handle their Will, the probate lawyers at Bolton Law can offer step-by-step instructions. Our experienced probate lawyers will help you understand the probate process so that you are able to grieve the loss of your loved one peacefully.
On the other hand, if your loved one has not left behind a Will, which is also called intestacy, the entire probate process can be quite overwhelming. According to the amount and types of assets owned by your deceased loved one, initiating a court proceeding may or may not be required.
The expert team of probate lawyers at Bolton Law in The Woodlands, TX can help walk you through the process with the following services:
- Small Estate Affidavit – If the estate value of your deceased loved one is $50,000 or less and the other requirements are met, you can transfer the assets through an affidavit instead of going through the probate process.
- Affidavit of Heirship – This is a form that should be filled by the beneficiaries so that they can quickly establish ownership of real property and avoid probate court.
- Determination of Heirship – This is an heirship proceeding that needs a probate attorney to help find suitable heirs to the deceased.
Understanding the ins and outs of the probate process in Texas can be overwhelming. The probate lawyers at Bolton Law are passionate about helping families in The Woodlands get the support they need during such a difficult time. Call the probate lawyers at Bolton Law in The Woodlands, Texas at 281-351-7897 to handle your probate process.
What Exactly Is Probate Law?
Probate is the process of administering an estate of a deceased person. Probate laws are the laws that govern the probate process. The process may include organizing the money, assets, and possessions of the deceased individual and distributing them as inheritance once debts and taxes are paid.
If the deceased has left behind a Will, there will be someone chosen to administer the estate. This individual is known as the executor of the Will. First, the executor of the Will should apply for a Grant of Probate, which is a legal document that authorizes them to deal with the deceased’s property.
Every Will or estate is different. In fact, the exact probate process can vary depending on the instructions left behind on the Will. A probate court will decide the legal validity of a deceased person’s Will and grant its approval to the executor. Probate ends once all debts and taxes are paid and all inheritance passed on.
What Are the Types of Services Provided by a Probate Lawyer?
A probate lawyer is also known as an estate planning attorney. He or she is a state-licensed lawyer who works with the executors and the beneficiaries of an estate in order to settle the affairs of a deceased person.
There are some instances where probate can be avoided such as when the decedent’s assets have been placed in a trust. A trust helps the smooth transferring of assets and property outside of court and legal proceedings. There are many ways a probate lawyer could assist the executor or beneficiary during the probate process.
Here are the most common types of services provided by a probate lawyer:
- Identify and secure estate assets
- Collect proceedings from life insurance policies
- Assist in the payment of debts and bills of the deceased person
- Resolve income tax issues
- Transfer assets in the deceased person’s name to the appropriate beneficiaries
- Obtain appraisals for the decedent’s real property
- Manage the estate checking account
- Prepare all documents required by a probate court
- Make the final disbursement of assets to beneficiaries after all bills, debts, and taxes have been paid
The experienced probate lawyers at Bolton Law are prepared to assist you with all of the above-mentioned tasks and procedures. You can rely on our expertise to solve all your probate and estate planning issues in The Woodlands, Texas.
What Happens if I Die Without a Will?
When you die without a Will, the legal term that describes such a situation is “Intestate.” When such a thing happens, the intestacy law of Texas will determine how your property will be distributed. If you own real estate in a different state, it will be processed under the intestacy laws of the specific state where the property is located. Intestate succession laws will determine who gets a share of your property.
Your property will be distributed in shares to family members such as the surviving spouse, adult or minor children, and adopted children. Other shares will be distributed among your parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, and distant relatives.
But stepchildren, loved ones who are not family members, and long-time partners won’t get a share of your estate. When no relative could be found, the entire estate goes to the state. The estate may include bank accounts, retirement accounts or IRAs, real estate, personal property, and more.
If you are single and die without a Will in Texas, your property will be distributed as follows:
- Your estate will be distributed equally to your parents if both are living.
- If one parent has died, and you don’t have any siblings, then your estate will pass to your surviving parent.
How Do I Know if I Will Need a Probate Lawyer?
If your deceased loved one planned his or her estate properly in advance, you may not need to handle estate issues in a court setting. In such a case, you may not need the services of a probate lawyer. But if the deceased person’s assets need to be distributed according to the probate process, you should work with a probate lawyer in Texas. Most Texas courts require a Will’s executor to be represented by a probate lawyer when completing the probate process.
Generally, the probate process will conclude within a matter of months. But if the original Will is lost or someone contests the deceased person’s Will, the process can take over a year. That is why you should retain the services of an experienced probate lawyer in The Woodlands, Texas to handle the process.
The experienced lawyers at Bolton Law can guide you through each step of the probate process to make sure that things go along as smoothly as possible. Our lawyers have the necessary skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle your probate process within the shortest possible time period.
Contact a Skilled Probate Lawyer in The Woodlands, TX Today!
When you have lost a loved one and he or she has left behind a Will, there are so many factors to take into consideration. In fact, you need to transfer property titles and handle bank account information according to the Will. On the other hand, if the loved one doesn’t leave behind a Will, the probate process can become quite overwhelming.
You need to rely on an expert probate lawyer to facilitate the entire process. The expert team of probate lawyers at Bolton Law in The Woodlands, TX can help walk you through the process. Call us at 281-351-7897 or contact us online today to handle your probate process.