Round Rock Probate Lawyer
Compassionate Representation in Pflugerville and Throughout Texas
Losing a loved one is one of the most devastating things a person can experience. Dealing with legal formalities and court procedures is an unfortunate byproduct of someone’s passing, and you may be expected to manage probate – the process for settling a deceased person’s estate.
At The J.D. Wilson Law Firm, we are here for you in this difficult moment. Our Round Rock estate planning lawyer knows what you are going through and can provide the empathetic guidance you need to navigate each stage of the process. Our attorneys have an in-depth understanding of the complexities and requirements involved in probate cases and will leverage our knowledge to make estate settlement as straightforward and painless as possible.
When a person passes away, someone will need to file a motion to initiate the probate process with the appropriate Texas court. Ideally, the deceased will have written and validated a will, which should name a personal representative. If no valid will exists, the probate judge will appoint a personal representative – typically an immediate relative of the deceased. Our probate attorney can help you start the probate process and determine if your loved one’s estate qualifies for any simplified or expedited procedures.
The personal representative has numerous responsibilities during probate, including:
- Notifying Heirs, Beneficiaries, and Creditors. The personal representative must inform anyone who potentially stands to inherit property of the decedent’s passing. They must also make a reasonable effort to alert creditors of the decedent’s death so that they have an opportunity to bring claims against the estate.
- Inventorying Assets. The personal representative must catalog and appraise the decedent’s property within 90 days of their appointment. This may be difficult if the decedent does not leave accurate records detailing where their assets are located. The inventorying process can also be challenging for especially large or complex estates.
- Settling Debts. Most people will still have obligations when they pass away, and the personal representative must work with creditors to resolve these debts. In some cases, the decedent will set aside funds to settle these affairs. If no funds are available, the personal representative may need to seek permission from the court to liquidate certain estate assets. The personal representative must also file the decedent’s final tax return and use estate assets to pay any resulting liability.
- Resolving Disputes. Probate is not always a frictionless process. One or more interested parties may contest the validity of the decedent’s will. They might claim it was forged, signed under duress, or improperly executed. Texas courts take these challenges seriously, and litigation will likely be necessary to resolve the conflict.
- Distributing Assets. Once debts have been paid and disputes have been resolved, the personal representative can distribute estate assets in accordance with the will’s instructions. If no will exists, the personal representative will follow Texas’s intestacy laws and distribute assets to the most immediate surviving relatives.
Our estate planning attorneys understand this process may initially seem overwhelming. Our legal team at The J.D. Wilson Law Firm regularly helps personal representatives fulfill their responsibilities, overcome obstacles, and manage conflicts. If a will is contested, we are prepared to fervently represent you in and out of the courtroom.
If you are still in the process of building your own estate plan, we encourage you to consider naming a legal professional to serve as your personal representative. While entrusting your estate to a trusted family member can make sense on paper, it can end up burdening an already grieving loved one in practice. Our Round Rock probate lawyer is prepared to serve as your personal representative and can capably handle all elements of estate administration.