Katy Probate Attorney
Helping Katy Residents Put Legal Disputes About Their Loved Ones’ Estate to Rest
When a person passes away, they no longer have use of the material possessions and wealth they accrued over the years—also known as their “testamentary estate.” However, a person still has the final say as to the disposition of their testamentary estate.
To make sure other parties give your rights and interests regarding your loved one’s estate due respect and recognition, you should consult an experienced probate lawyer in Katy for advice. At Hunt Law Firm, you can rely on our extensive legal acumen involving probate issues to help you get through the challenges of going through probate administration or litigation.
Call Hunt Law Firm at (832) 781-0320 to learn more.
Dedicated Legal Advocacy for Probate Issues in Texas
Despite passing away, the law holds the final wishes of the deceased—also known as the “testamentary intent” of the “decedent”—in the highest regard. Determining the details of a deceased loved one’s wishes can be tricky when they are no longer around to testify about them. Facilitating this significant determination is the goal of probate law.
To ensure that the probate process goes smoothly, it is helpful to refer to this checklist of where to start:
- Locate the original Will
- Gather any pertinent documents and records involving assets and liabilities not mentioned by the Will
- Find and keep documents related to funeral arrangements
- Consult a trusted probate lawyer who can elaborate about the testate administration process
Probate proceedings are primarily concerned with disbursing the property and assets of the decedent’s estate according to their wishes. Because the decedent cannot testify before the court about the details of their intentions, probate proceedings provide a method of recognizing the decedent’s Last Will and Testament—in addition to other similar documents—as valid evidence of their testamentary intent.
At Hunt Law Firm, we have comprehensive knowledge of probate litigation and administration, including the following matters:
- Testate Administration: When a person has a valid Will and passes away, they are considered to have died “testate.” In many cases, probate proceedings involve the testate administration of the decedent’s estate according to the terms of their Will. In contrast, a person who dies without a will is deemed to have died “intestate.” As a result, the rules of intestate succession govern the administration of the decedent’s estate.
- Applications to probate a Will: To initiate a probate proceeding, the decedent’s Will must be admitted to probate. The process of probating a Will is governed by the Texas Estates Code, which imposes specific requirements regarding who may apply to probate a Will and within what time they must do so.
- Appointments of personal representatives for the deceased’s estate: During probate proceedings, the court will appoint someone as the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Generally, this appointment is dictated by the express terms of the decedent’s Will as to who they want to serve as their estate’s personal representative. If no valid Will provision identifies a personal representative, the court will choose one according to the provisions of the Texas Estates Code.
- Interpreting Will provisions: The determination of the decedent’s testamentary intent is subject to various legal rules concerning the construction and interpretation of the provisions of their Will. Our legal team can advise you about these rules and how they may affect the case’s outcome.
- Opposing an application to probate a Will: If someone attempts to admit a Will for probate, a party can oppose the process by claiming that the legal requirements to form a valid Will were not met. We can help you oppose an allegedly invalid Will, guiding you through sophisticated issues regarding the burden of proving the Will’s defectiveness.
- Uncontested Wills: When no one contests the validity of a Will or its provisions, the administration of the decedent’s estate moves forward according to the terms of the Will. The personal representative of the testamentary estate must still resolve creditors’ claims and other liabilities against the estate. If you are a personal representative, we can help walk you through this process to make sure you are incompliance with the legal obligations of a personal representative.
- Competing claims between purported beneficiaries: Probate litigation often involves disputes between parties who are purported to benefit from the decedent’s estate, or between the decedent’s creditors and the beneficiaries of his or her estate.
- Independent estate administration: In many cases, the decedent’s estate can easily be administered and settled without court intervention or supervision. This type of estate administration can potentially save the parties hours of time and thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and court costs. We can help you determine whether this is appropriate for your case.
- Small estate administration: Under Texas law, there is a special process for the administration of estates valued at no more than $75,000, not including “non-probate assets” such as insurance benefits and retirement proceedings. We can advise you on whether your case qualifies for small estate administration as well as your rights and obligations under this process.
- Trust administration: Property held in trust is technically no longer part of the decedent’s estate. As a result, estate planners may utilize trusts to minimize the kind of conflict that would otherwise arise during probate litigation.
Our Katy Probate Lawyers Is Ready to Advise You
Legal disputes concerning Texas probate law can be difficult and expensive to navigate. Fortunately, Hunt Law Firm provides efficient administration of a will through the Texas probate process to distribute assets to beneficiaries. Generally, an executor has 4 years from the date of death to probate the will. Hunt Law Firm can address questions regarding how the probate process starts, who can serve as executor and how to transfer assets. Our legal team is devoted to guiding you through the sophisticated legal issues associated with probate proceedings to make sure you can find a fair outcome for your case and put the legal controversy about your late loved one’s wishes to rest.
Call Hunt Law Firm at (832) 781-0320 or contact us online today to schedule an appointment to discuss your legal interests and options concerning your probate matter.
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