"Probate" has a bit of a bad reputation in the world of estate planning. Most of the talk concerning probate is about how to avoid it. While people often agree that avoiding probate can be a good idea in many cases, it's helpful to understand the probate process so that you can form the best plan for yourself.
"Probate" is a legal process that deals with the assets and debts left behind after someone dies. By default, probate is supervised by a court in each county. Note that the term "probate" can be used to describe the legal process, the court in which the process takes place, or the distribution of assets. The probate process can include all aspects of estate administration, such as:
Proving the validity of a will, if it exists,
Choosing an estate administrator, executor, or representative,
Totaling all assets both in and out of the estate,
Paying all applicable estate taxes and other debts,
Identifying all heirs and other relatives,
Distributing any remaining assets to the heirs as described in the will or intestacy statutes.
Probate typically begins when the deceased's representative files a petition along with the death certificate in the probate court. The process generally ends when the court formally closes the estate.
Probate in many cases is not necessary in Texas. When probate is necessary, in most cases it is not an expensive process. Probate becomes expensive when the heirs are fighting over the assets. Bill Cornett is glad to help you avoid probate or go the least expensive path if available.
The cons of probate are what drive people to try to avoid it -- specifically, that probate is time consuming and expensive. If a relative or potential heir decides to contest the will or the court's asset distribution, the process can take even longer. In addition, the court, attorneys, assessors, and other professionals involved all charge fees for processing an estate. These fees typically come out of the estate itself.
There are, however, some benefits to the probate process. First, for certain estates in some jurisdictions, probate may be required. It's best to check with a local probate attorney to determine whether probate is necessary in your jurisdiction. Second, the formality of probate court often gives some degree of certainty to the deceased's family. If there was ever a question about whether a will is valid or about the worth of a particular asset, the probate process will find an answer.
It can be and often is critical that you get legal help understanding the basics of the probate process. The best way to get this understanding is to contact an experienced probate and estate administration attorney near you. Stop and take a breath and call a probate attorney who has had decades of experience filing for probate in the state of Texas. Pick up the phone and call Amarillo Attorney Bill Cornett. Bill is your choice as an experienced probate attorney in Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle. Don’t waste another minute. Call him today.
Your most important action may end up being the phone call that you make to your Amarillo probate attorney. In the Texas Panhandle that call should be to Amarillo probate attorney Bill Cornett. Whether you need assistance with a will, administration of an estate or a contested probate, contact the Law Office of Bill Cornett. Be safe and be smart…remember these phone numbers (806) 374-9498 or (800) 658-6618.
Bill Cornett, Amarillo Attorney, with Cornett Law Firm offers affordable, qualified services as an experienced personal injury lawyer, probate attorney, family law attorney, criminal law attorney, DWI attorney and divorce attorney. Bill also has experience in estate planning and agriculture law. Sit down with Bill at his office located at 612 S. Van Buren St. in Amarillo TX by calling (806) 374-9498 or (800) 658-6618 TODAY to schedule a free consultation.
Bill Cornett recently handled a commercial truck accident case where a rear wheel came off a moving trailer which resulted in a $1,400,000 recovery for his clients. The case was settled when an expert witness was produced that proved negligence on the part of the defendants. This was a tragic case that resulted in a large settlement which was deserved by the clients. Let Bill Cornett go to work for you to make sure you get the settlement you deserve.
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Bill Cornett grew up on a farm in Knox City, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Texas Tech University and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law School. Bill was licensed to practice law in the State of Texas in 1973.