Probate With a Will

Guiding our Clients through the Probate Process at a Northwest Houston Law Firm

The probate process in general refers to the primary method under Texas law by which a deceased individual’s affairs are legally settled, and title of their property is transferred to their heirs and beneficiaries. However, before either of these steps can begin, an interested party must first prove to the court that the deceased person left a legally valid will. If the deceased person died without leaving a valid will, then his or her estate will be distributed in accordance with the Texas laws of intestate inheritance. However, this default distribution scheme can be overridden by the deceased person’s instructions if they were written in a valid will. After the will has been submitted to the court, there will be a hearing to determine whether the will should be admitted to probate. If all the legal requirements are met, then the court will admit the will to probate, appoint a personal representative (also called a executor or administrator) and the settlement and distribution of the estate can begin.

Probate Administration in Texas

The heart of probate process occurs after the will has been admitted and the administration phase begins. The term “probate administration” describes the period in which the deceased person’s estate is settled and their property is transferred to their beneficiaries. This phase generally begins when the court appoints a personal representative to manage the deceased person’s property and charges them with the collecting, settling, and distribution of the estate. The executor then carries out these tasks in the manner set forth in Texas Estates Code and in accordance with the terms of the will.

Letters Testamentary

Once appointed, the court will provide the new Independent Executor with what are called “Letters Testamentary”. These are official court documents that give the executor the legal authority to take charge of the estate property. By law, organization’s like banks, stock brokers, online accounts, credit card companies, and other businesses, who would normally keep their client’s information confidential, must honor these letters and provide the Executor with access to the deceased person’s accounts and records.

As part of the administration process, the executor should make a reasonable effort to determine if the deceased person owed any debts. If there are legitimate debts, the executor should pay them with the funds or other assets of the deceased person’s estate. After the executor recieves letters testamentary from the court, the executor must give notice of the person’s death to secured creditors. Another job of executor is to file an inventory of the deceased person’s property or, in some circumstances, an affidavit in lieu of inventory, along with a list of any known claims against the estate. Once this is done and all of the deceased person’s debts have been paid or denied, then the Executor can begin distributing the estate money and property to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the will.

Probate lawyer representing individuals and families in Northwest Houston

To properly guide you through the probate process, from proving the will to settling and distributing the estate, an attorney should understand nuances of the probate process as well as the technical issues involved legally transferring title of the deceased person’s property into the names of the beneficiaries. At the Law Offices of Joseph E. Seiler, we strive to explain each detail as we walk our clients through the probate process. We understand that individuals who need a probate lawyer have often just been through the difficulty of losing a loved one. Now, they are faced with handling a probate administration. Mr. Seiler treats each of his clients with empathy as he guides them through the process and he works to make the administration of the estate proceed as easily and efficiently as possible.

Probate lawyer representing individuals and families in Northwest Houston

Our Law Offices represent clients throughout the Houston area with a concentration along the U.S. 290 Corridor including Cypress, Fairfield, Tomball, and Brenham. If you are interested in legally transferring title of a decedent’s property in the names of the heirs and beneficiaries, then please contact the Law Offices of Joseph E. Seiler for a free one-half hour strategy consultation. To schedule your free strategy session, please visit our contact page here.

Law Offices Joseph E. Seiler Northwest Houston
Joseph E. Seiler focuses on helping individuals and families with their probate administration, estate planning, inheritance, and trust law needs. He is affiliiated with several prominent legal organizations, including:

State Bar of Texas

Texas Supreme Court

All Texas Appellate Courts

United State Federal Court for the Southern District of Texas

Houston Bar Association

Northwest Houston Bar Association

You will receive focused personal attention and speak directly with Mr. Seiler. Our attorney communicates promptly with each client, treats them with empathy, and is eager to help them with their legal needs. Through knowledgable and diligent representation, Mr. Seiler works to protect each client’s rights as he guides them through the legal system. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Seiler, please call (713) 343-1450.

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Phone: (713) 343-1450

Fax: (713) 957-2076

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