At McCulloch & Miller, we have 35 years of experience in Texas probate law, which gives us a unique perspective on estate planning and on the probate process. Over the years, our clients have come to us with their questions, big and small, because they trust that we will deliver the answers and results they need. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions in the field of probate:
What is probate?
The probate process is when a court receives, reviews, and accepts a decedent’s will, then distributes the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries.
Is probate required in Texas?
The short answer is yes; probate is required under certain circumstances. Under the Texas Estates Code, a will is not sufficient to transfer title to a beneficiary without having gone through the probate process. However, as we have discussed extensively on our blog, there are ways to avoid probate and minimize the time, cost, and toll that the probate process can take on you and your family.
How long does probate take?
Probate can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. The timing depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the estate, the presence or absence of disputes about who gets which property, and the backlog of the probate court.
What if my loved one died without a will?
If you have a loved one that died without a will, that person’s assets will be distributed according to Texas’s rules of intestate succession. The State has certain laws about who receives a decedent’s assets – for example, the decedent’s spouse, children, or siblings – when there is no will in place.
How Do I Get the Probate Process Started?
The first step in starting the probate process is to notify the court of your jurisdiction that your loved one has died. By filing this petition, you put the court on notice that the process is ready to begin. To make sure you are filing in the correct court and to ensure you have the right forms in place, contact a probate attorney you trust that can help you along the way.
Do You Have a Probate Attorney in Texas?
If you have not yet made plans for your estate, or if you are undergoing the probate process, give our office a call at McCulloch & Miller. We understand that the death of a loved one is hard enough on its own, let alone with the added complication of a probate court. Our job is to make the process as easy as possible for you so that you can relax and know that your future is in good hands. We can also help you plan on the front end so that your loved ones will not have to deal with probate once you are gone.
To set up a consultation with one of our Houston probate lawyers, call us today at 713-597-7176. You can also fill out our online form, and one of our team members will reach out to talk with you about the details of your case.