Probate is a court-supervised process of distributing and overseeing property after a person dies. The purpose of probate is to determine the wishes of the deceased, pay debts, and to distribute the property according to the decedent's wishes. Many people structure their estate planning options to enable avoiding the probate process altogether. Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that should be addressed as part of your estate planning efforts.
Some state laws provide a way of avoiding probate by allowing an exemption or a simplified probate process for small estates only worth a certain amount. In a few states, probate is eliminated or a simplified probate process applies for property left to the surviving spouse.
If probate proceedings are unnecessary, the family of the decedent typically chooses an informal estate representative to pay debts and to distribute the property. Usually the estate representative is a family member or a close friend of the decedent.
As for Texas, probate is not necessary in many cases. Even when probate is necessary, it is not necessarily an expensive process. However, when heirs argue and fight over the distribution of assets, the probate process may become expensive. Bill Cornett is glad to help you avoid probate or go the least expensive path if available.
An executor named in a will or an administrator appointed by a probate court is responsible for overseeing the probate process. A probate judge appoints an administrator if an executor is unnamed in a will or if the decedent died without a will. Usually, the administrator is a relative or the person inheriting the majority of the decedent's estate. In many situations, the executor oversees probate, while a probate lawyer performs the bulk of the work.
The probate process usually takes between six months to a year. The executor of the will or a court-appointed administrator will handle probate, and, if necessary, hire a probate attorney. The executor or the administrator is responsible for filing the appropriate paperwork with the probate court after the decedent's death.
During probate, the following occurs: the probate court receives the original of the decedent's will, probate assets are identified and inventoried, contact is made with heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors, and debts and taxes are paid. The last step in the probate process is the distribution of probate assets. In some situations, the executor may have to sell assets, such as real estate and securities, to pay outstanding debts or to make cash bequests specified by the will.
If property qualifies for an exemption or a simplified probate process, probate is inapplicable and it is unnecessary to devise methods to avoid probate. If, on the other hand, an estate will be subject to probate, there are some effective methods of avoiding probate.
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.