Denton Probate Attorneys
Serving All of North Texas
Death leaves behind painful, stressful, and emotional circumstances, even without the added complexity of endless legal matters that must be tended to. At the Chenault Law Firm we understand this and will help you navigate the legal process during this difficult time. We assist clients throughout Denton, Dallas, Tarrant, and Collin Counties including Flower Mound, Lewisville, Richardson, Carrollton and Plano.
Texas offers several probate options. Below is a general description of the typical process but each probate estate is unique and varies from person to person.
Definition of Probate
The term probate is derived from the Latin word meaning “To prove the will.” Probate refers to the process of a court-overseen administration and distribution of a deceased’s estate. A probate aims to ensure that final bills and expenses are resolved, including taxes owed, and any remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries named in the will, or if there is no will, in accordance with Texas laws governing intestate succession.
Small Estates May Not Require Probate
If the entire Estate, not including homestead and exempt property, is $50,000 or less, the decedent’s assets may be transferred by affidavit procedure without having to go through the probate process, provided certain qualifications are met. Because preparation of the Small Estate Affidavit poses several pitfalls, since requirements are extraordinarily complex and modifications are always needed to mold the affidavit to the particular facts of each case, an experienced attorney should assist in its preparation.
Planning Ahead to Avoid Probate
The primary disadvantages of probate are cost, time and sacrifice of privacy. Many clients therefore, desire to avoid probate completely. Careful estate planning provides the firmly established base necessary to skirt probate proceedings. A properly funded revocable living trust allows assets held in the name of the trust to pass to the beneficiaries, in accordance with the provisions of the trust, without the requirement of probate administration. Titling assets in joint tenancy with right of survivorship and careful use of beneficiary designations on certain types of assets are other available avenues to avoid the drawn-out probate litigation. The Chenault Law Firm, a local and experienced estate-planning and probate Firm in Denton County, can help explain the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
When Probate is Required, Seek Experienced Legal Representation
If you have recently encountered the death of a loved one, the last thing you want to do is navigate the seemingly complicated probate process. The Chenault Law Firm can help lead you through it from beginning to end, allowing you the much-needed opportunity to be able to grieve. If you are the appointed Trustee or Executor by the Will of your lost loved one, The Chenault Law Firm can also counsel you to guarantee that you successfully fulfill your fiduciary obligations and guide you in managing and transferring the assets of the estate to its intended beneficiaries.
Serving as the personal representative of a decedent’s estate encompasses many fiduciary duties and responsibilities, and should not be taken lightly. Contact our office by phone at 972.591.0099, message us online, or visit us at our office in Denton County for a confidential phone or in office consultation.