Probate Attorney in Clear Lake City, Texas
Probate is the legal process that validates a deceased person's will, settles their debts, and distributes their assets according to their wishes and state laws. Navigating the probate process can be stressful and overwhelming for families, but with our expertise and personalized approach, we strive to make it as smooth and efficient as possible.
At the Perrin Law Firm, we're committed to offering compassionate and responsive legal representation to clients in probate and estate administration matters. Our attorney, Shelby G. Perrin, can enlighten you about Texas probate laws and regulations and guide you through the legal process involved in administering your deceased loved one's estate.
The Perrin Law Firm proudly serves clients across Clear Lake City, Texas, and surrounding areas of League City, Seabrook, Deer Park, Pasadena, Friendswood, and the Greater Houston Area.
What Is Probate?
Probate can be described as a legal process that is often required to determine the validity of a decedent's will and to settle their estate and final affairs. Essentially, the probate process involves:
Filing the decedent’s will along with an application to begin the probate process with the proper Court.
Appearing in Court to have the will formally accepted in order for the executor to obtain legal authority to act on behalf of decedent’s estate.
Gathering and assessing the decedent's assets.
Distributing the remaining assets of the decedent to rightful heirs and beneficiaries.
In Texas, the entire probate process usually takes between three and six months. However, in situations where there are disputes and hostilities between surviving loved ones and creditors concerning estate administration, the probate process may take longer to finalize.
Which Assets Generally Go Through Probate?
Some common assets that usually pass through the probate process in Texas include:
Assets owned only in the deceased person's name, including real estate property, investments, financial accounts, and motor vehicles.
Personal belongings, including household items, clothing, art collections, and jewelry pieces.
A share of property owned as "tenants in common."
Conversely, assets owned jointly with another person who has rights of survivorship, assets owned by a trust, and assets with valid beneficiary designations typically will not go through probate.
Probate in Texas
In the state of Texas, the probate process is initiated once the named executor files an application with the probate court in the county where the deceased person lived before their demise. Next, a hearing will be scheduled before the probate judge. The judge can approve the named executor and grant them the legal authority to act on behalf of the estate.
Additionally, there are two types of probate administration in Texas. These include:
Independent Administration of Estates
In independent administration, the Texas court will appoint an executor or administrator to handle the probate process. Here, the executor will work independently, with little court involvement or supervision. As such, the executor is allowed to act without the court's permission or preapproval. Most estates in Texas are handled with independent administration.
Dependent Administration of Estates
In dependent administration, the executor or administrator will rely on the probate court to manage the entire process. Here, the court will be involved in the probate administration and must approve all decisions taken by the executor. Dependent administration is known to be more expensive and time-consuming.
Role of the Executor or Administrator
Once the court appoints the executor or administrator, they typically must perform the tasks below:
Gathering and inventorying the decedent's assets.
Informing the beneficiaries and heirs named in the will.
Notifying the decedent’s creditors of the probate proceedings.
Collecting all of the decedent's income, including claims, interests, debts owed, rents, and dividends.
Paying the valid claims to the known creditors.
Settling any remaining outstanding debts with creditors.
Preparing and filing the decedent's final tax returns.
Distributing the remaining estate property and assets to rightful heirs and beneficiaries.
Remember, as the executor of an estate, you don’t have to navigate the probate process alone. Our attorney has handled hundreds of administration cases and is ready to use her knowledge, experience, and compassion to guide you forward. Learn how we can help you when you schedule a consultation with our Clear Lake firm today.
Probate Services We Offer
Going through the Texas probate process after a loved one's death can be quite complicated and overwhelming. At the Perrin Law Firm, we represent executors, administrators, trustees, and beneficiaries. We offer a comprehensive range of probate services, including but not limited to:
Reviewing the will and advising on its validity
Administering the estate where the decedent did not have a will
Representing executors, administrators, and trustees and assisting them with legally probating the estate
Assisting with the collection and inventory of the decedent’s assets
Assisting with the sale of the decedent's property
Assisting in matters related to payment or settlement of the decedent’s debts
Assisting in closing the estate and distributing the assets
Representing beneficiaries of a decedent in order for them to protect their inheritance rights and confirm they receive the assets they are entitled to
As your legal counsel, we will work directly with you to understand the dynamics of your case. We are available to you during every phase of your project and update you regularly throughout the probate process.
Probate Attorney Serving Clear Lake City, Texas
If you need help with probate and estate administration, contact us at the Perrin Law Firm today to schedule a simple consultation. Our experienced lawyer can provide you with the well-rounded support and service you deserve during this time. We're proud to serve clients across Clear Lake City, League City, Seabrook, Deer Park, Pasadena, Friendswood, and the Greater Houston Area, Texas.