A Texas Probate Lawyer You Can Rely On For Estate-Related Matters
As uncomfortable as it may be to think about what will happen to estate when you pass, it is important that you put thought into this matter. This is especially true if you are married, have children, or possess assets of value. As a probate lawyer in Texas might explain to you, without doing so, the state can become involved; ultimately making decisions on your behalf. If you’re keen on passing your primary house to your eldest daughter and your cottage property to your son, this should be formally, albeit legally, documented.
The Probate Process
Should you decide to place everything in a will, your estate must go through the probate process. Probate tends to be a feared word, and a topic rife with misunderstandings. Because of this, you might feel overwhelmed, confused, or even resistant about taking this estate planning route. If you have questions about probate or estate planning, Winfrey Law Firm, PLLC invites you to schedule an initial call to discuss these things, and more.
What is Probate?
Probate is a legal process that will involve the Probate Court nearest to the deceased’s last place of residence. Whenever a person has established a will, or has no estate plan, their estate will go through probate. A Judge will name an administrator who will be required to conduct various tasks like file taxes, pay owed debts, locate assets, notify heirs, and distribute assets. The probate process can take between 4 and 9 months or more, and tends to cost between 7 and 14 percent of the estate’s value. A probate lawyer is not necessarily needed, but can be a valuable tool. Often a lawyer can help your beneficiaries to retain as much of their inheritance as possible. Winfrey Law Firm, PLLC would be happy to let you know how during a consultation.
Can a Will Avoid the Probate Process?
In general, any will is required to pass through probate. The exception to this may be when the estate’s value is less than a certain amount (usually under $50,000). If you’re adamant about your estate avoiding probate, you may want to talk with the probate lawyer about drafting a trust. You should also make sure any retirement accounts or life insurance policies have a named beneficiary to avoid a legal headache.
The Cost of Probate in Texas
Probate can be extremely expensive – especially when there is a lack of planning. In all probate cases, these estates must pay outstanding debts, as well as taxes, legal fees, court fees, and administrator fees. All of these costs can accumulate quickly. Should probate be drawn out, for example because of a will contents, these fees will increase. In general, the longer the process is, or the more complicated the estate might be, the more your beneficiaries will pay.
Winfrey Law Firm, PLLC – A Respected Estate Planning Law Firm
The probate process should not be feared so much that action is not taken to protect your beneficiaries’ interests and rights. Winfrey Law Firm, PLLC encourages you to take the next steps forward. Let us find out what your estate will benefit from; be it a Will, Trust, or other tool. Call an estate and probate lawyer in Texas now.