Comprehensive Elder Law Services

What Is Probate?

Probate is the process of wrapping up the affairs of a person after they pass away. The type of probate action we choose depends on several factors. If the person had a will, there are different procedures we can use depending on what the person owned and owed. Without a will, we are mostly limited to asking a court to determine the heirs and appoint an administrator unless other provisions apply. Katten Benson Zachry Golightly, LLP can help you determine which actions are appropriate for your situation.

What Is An Executor?

A will usually appoints an executor, or the person responsible for carrying out the probate process. Where there is no will, the court appoints an administrator. They have the same duties. An executor or administrator can act independently of the court if specified in the will or if all beneficiaries agree. This can save significant cost and time.

What If My Loved One Didn’t Leave A Will?

Where a person dies without a will, there is a procedure in place to wind up their affairs. First, we must ask the court to appoint an administrator to designate a person to do so. We must also ask the court to determine who the heirs of the decedent. This process involves a second attorney, called an attorney ad litem (or “attorney for this case only,”) who verifies the information provided about who inherits. This prevents mistakes, either intentional or accidental, regarding who is an heir of the estate.

What Does The Probate Process Look Like?

Texas has a fairly streamlined and progressive probate system. After the appointment of an independent executor or administrator, that person only has to file an Inventory with the court within 90 days. He or she is also responsible for contacting creditors of the estate, giving them notice an estate has been opened, and paying those claims. Then the executor or administrator pays what is left to the heirs of the estate.

Contact Us To Learn More

Contact Katten Benson Zachry Golightly, LLP to discuss your legal matter and learn more about your legal options. To schedule an initial consultation with us at our office in Fort Worth, call us at 817-857-4690 or send us an email.