At McCulloch & Miller, we understand the dilemma – paying for an attorney can be difficult, but you also don’t want to go through legal battles alone. During the probate process, it can be especially frustrating to navigate all of the procedural hurdles without an attorney. But is an attorney required? Today, we talk about whether attorneys are necessary in Texas probate proceedings.
The short answer to this question is that probate sometimes requires an attorney in Texas. Specifically, most probate courts in Texas do require that an estate’s executor hire a lawyer. The executor is responsible for looking out for not only his or her own interest, but the interests of the estate’s beneficiaries as well. Because of this dual role, most courts stipulate that the executors must retain an attorney during the probate process.
The most common situation in which an attorney is not needed for probate is when the decedent’s will is probated as a muniment of title. We have discussed muniments of title previously on our blog, but for a short overview, muniment of title is essentially a shortened probate process that is available when the estate has (1) no unsecured debts and (2) only real property and cash accounts. If the estate qualifies for muniment of title, the executor can move forward without hiring a lawyer at all.
As many of our clients know all too well, the probate process can be long, drawn out, and frustratingly complicated. While it can seem costly to hire an attorney for probate, we always remind our clients of one thing: it is always better to do probate effectively in one go round than to do it incorrectly and draw out the process even more.
By hiring a qualified estate planning attorney on the front end, you can save yourself time, money, and emotional energy in the long run by making sure everything is done correctly the first time through. And while the process can be draining no matter what, especially in the wake of the death of a loved one, good estate planning attorneys will help you navigate the process with as much ease as possible.
Are You and Your Family Looking for a Houston Estate Planning Attorney?
At McCulloch & Miller, our Texas firm is proud to specialize in estate planning and probate matters. We also offer legal services related to elder law, trusts, and tax law so that we can provide a holistic and well-informed approach for our clients. If you are looking for a reliable team that keeps your best interests at heart, look no further. Our firm’s partners have been advocates for aging Americans for over 30 years, and we understand what it takes to represent our clients effectively, efficiently, and with a personalized approach.
For a consultation with a member of our legal team, call us today at 713-955-7281. You can also fill out our online form to have an estate planning attorney reach back out to you about your case as soon as possible.