The Texas probate process is not one to be taken lightly; every procedural step must be done correctly in order to make sure nothing falls through the cracks, and no stone is left unturned. While the process can be lengthy, we at McCulloch & Miller are experts in navigating the probate courts and are pleased to offer our clients everything they need to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
When an individual dies in Texas, that person’s assets and debts get distributed to his or her loved ones, typically in accordance with his or her will or other estate documents. Before this can happen, however, the probate court has to review the person’s will, notify other possible beneficiaries, and decide that the will meets the necessary requirements for the assets to be distributed.
If your loved one has recently passed away and you are looking to begin the probate process, the first thing you need to do is acquire a death certificate on behalf of your loved one. Filing the death certificate with the probate court allows the court to be sure that the individual has died and to make that certificate becomes part of the official court record.
Next, the court reviews the individual’s will. This process is necessarily complex and highlights the importance of taking the time and energy to make sure your will meets the necessary requirements to pass through probate. If the court decides the will is invalid, the process might be substantially held up or stopped altogether. Speaking with an estate planning attorney can help you understand what makes a will valid and what might put it at risk of getting held up by the probate court.
The court is also obligated to notify all possible beneficiaries, even those not specifically named in the individual’s will. The court issues a notice that allows other family members to petition to become part of the court process if they think they are entitled to assets from the will.
Overall, this process takes time, and it can require patience and expertise to work through. In order to make sure you have all you need to get started, it is in your best interest to speak with an estate planning attorney that can make sure your rights are well protected.
Are You Looking for an Estate Planning Attorney in Texas?
At McCulloch & Miller, PLLC, we offer thorough, holistic representation for our clients and their loved ones. We recommend that individuals plan for 20-30 years of retirement or disability planning; for many, this can seem daunting, but for our clients, it is one part of a comprehensive process that we take pride in helping them navigate. Starting early is the key, and we make it as easy as possible for you to take the first step.
For a consultation with a member of our team, call us today at 713-936-9073. You can also fill out our online form to have one of our Houston estate planning attorneys reach out to you as soon as possible.