The Basics Of The Probate Process


The legal process of transferring an individual’s property, upon their death, to designated beneficiaries is known as "probate." Although the probate laws have changed over time, the purpose has remained pretty much the same. First, an individual formalizes their intentions regarding the transfer of their property at the time of their death. The vehicle for this is typically a will.  Upon the individual’s death, their property is collected, certain debts are paid from the estate, and the property is distributed as prescribed in the will. The basic process of probating a deceased individual’s estate includes:


  • Collecting all probate property of the decedent;
  • Paying all debts, claims and taxes owed by the estate;
  • Collecting all rights to income, dividends, etc.;
  • Settling any disputes; and
  • Distributing or transferring the remaining property to the heirs.


Administering the probate process


The probate process is a court-supervised process designed to sort out the transfer of a person's property at death. This is commonly referred to as "probating a will." This legal process exists for the protection of all the parties involved.


It is, in fact, quite possible to avoid the probate process completely. The three primary ways to avoid probate and its protections is through joint ownership with the right of survivorship, gifts and revocable trusts.


What can you expect to happen during the probate process?


When a will exists, an individual will identify an executor or executrix who will, upon death, take over the management of that individual’s affairs. If the decedent fails to name an executor, the court will appoint a personal representative, or administrator, to settle the estate.


Typically, people may leave property to any person they wish, and may make such designations in their will. However, in certain situations, depending on the relationship to the decedent and the laws of the state, the decedent's wishes may have to be overridden by the court. For example, in most states, a spouse is entitled to a certain amount of property and creditors may have a claim on the property of the estate. The more complex and sizable a decedent’s estate, the longer and more time-consuming this probate process can be.


In some cases, the probate process may be contested. Arguments often raised include: the decedent may have been improperly influenced in making gifts, the decedent did not know what they were doing (insufficient mental capacity) at the time the will was executed, and the decedent did not follow the necessary legal formalities in drafting his or her will. The majority of probated estates, however, are uncontested.


Call your Amarillo probate attorney today


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.


Put Cornett Law Firm’s 45 years of experience to work for you


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.


Cornett Law Firm - Amarillo Attorney Bill Cornett


(806) 374 - 9498

Bill Cornett


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.

Cornett Law Firm - Amarillo Attorney Bill Cornett Cornett Law Firm - Amarillo Attorney Bill Cornett Cornett Law Firm - Amarillo Attorney Bill Cornett