Probate is the legal process of winding up a person’s affairs after they pass away. Horror stories about probate being an expensive, complicated process are mostly not true. Sometimes a probate is unnecessary, and we at Cornett Law Firm are glad to tell our clients if a probate needs to be filed. Probate is usually not an expensive process. It normally involves filing an application to probate the will, one hearing before the County Judge, which lasts about 10 minutes, filing an inventory listing the assets owned by the estate, and filing a motion to close the estate. The Probate Judge will sign the Order Admitting the Will to Probate, the County Clerk will issue Letters Testamentary, and the Judge will sign an Order closing the estate. This process can take as little as 2-3 months. There are no federal estate taxes on estates of less than $5,490,000 in the year 2017.
Only about 2-3% of all estates have to pay Federal Estate taxes. In some cases, a short cut – less expensive probate is possible. If the deceased owed no debts and there are no disputes among the heirs, then the shortcut probate of the will as a Muniment of Title may be used. This probate as a Muniment of Title is much less expensive and is completely effective in most cases that qualify.
Again, we are always glad to recommend probating the will as a Muniment of Title if that fits our client's needs. In cases where there is no will, then an administration of the estate may be necessary which is sometimes more expensive than a routine probate. Other cases may only require an Affidavit of Heirship. We always consider every option and recommend the simplest and least expensive procedure that will fit the needs of our clients.
Whether you need assistance with a will, administration of an estate or a contested probate, contact the Law Office of Bill Cornett at (800) 658 - 6618 or our local number (806) 374 - 9498 for a free consultation.
Contact us for an experienced probate attorney in these and other surrounding cities:
Dalhart, Dumas, Stratford, Vega, Hereford, Dimmitt, Canyon, Amarillo, Tulia, Pampa, Childress, Borger, Clarendon, and Perryton.
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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. After being licensed to practice law in the State of Texas in 1973.