When someone dies, the work of identifying, valuing, and distributing the property of the deceased takes place largely through the probate court. This process, overseen by a judge, is handled by the personal representative of the estate.
Most personal representatives have little or no experience with the Texas probate process, which can be complicated. An executor named in a will (or a personal representative appointed by the court if there is no valid will) may reside outside the state. These factors, not to mention the fact that a loved one has just died, can make the probate process seem overwhelming. Turkett Law Office, PLLC, can help families through this difficult time.
Texas offers a few options for going through the probate process. The most common is independent administration. In independent administration, the executor does not need to post a bond. The executor also has greater freedoms to take many steps toward settling the estate without getting court permission first. These steps include actions such as paying debts of the estate, selling estate property, and distributing property to people that a will says should receive it.
Less often, probate estates go through dependent administration. This process requires greater supervision by the probate court. In dependent administration, the executor must post a bond, insuring that he or she will properly carry out duties. The estate must remain open for a minimum of six months, and court permission must be obtained prior to taking most actions, including the sale of estate property or payment of estate expenses or debts. In dependent administration, the executor must make regular accountings to the probate court, which provides transparency about the executor's actions to the court and the estate's heirs.
In addition to these types of formal administration, there are other options for the transfer of property if the estate is small and uncomplicated.
We will explain the probate process in general, as well as the details that apply to your specific circumstances. We understand that handling the administration of a loved one or friend's estate can be difficult, and our focus is on helping you through the process compassionately and efficiently, with as little stress, expense, and delay as possible.
We also provide services for heirs and creditors of decedents' estates. If you are an interested party to a probate proceedings, and have concerns about the estate or the executor's management of it, we can help you explore your options and challenge the executor's actions, if necessary.
Whatever the nature of your involvement in an estate, we look forward to guidng you through the Texas probate process. For a consultation and to learn more, call Turkett Law Office, PLLC at (817) 769-2750 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.