Probate—you hear the term bandied about in a mostly negative context. There’s a reason for that. The legal process often involves family conflict or conflict in general over who gets what when a person dies. Business challenges, particularly ones from partners, can be a legal nightmare. If a person dies without a will (intestate), quarrels among potential beneficiaries can go on for months. There’s a lot to sort out. In the hands of a good probate attorney, things go a lot more smoothly.
Any probate attorney will tell you that probate is a very common legal procedure. Sometimes it’s the only way certain assets can be formally and legally passed from a deceased person to their heirs. Whether probate is required depends on the type of property, how it is owned, and what the state laws are. A good probate attorney takes the mystery out of the entire process.
What Does a Probate Attorney Do?
Aside from providing common legal tasks, probate attorneys offer a good deal of emotional support and guidance to will executors and beneficiaries, along with other support throughout the process.
- Collects proceeds from life insurance policies
- Identifies and secures estate assets
- Obtains appraisals for the decedent’s real property
- Assists in the payment of bills and debt
- Prepares and files all documents required by a probate court
- Determines if any estate or inheritance taxes are due and makes sure those debts are satisfied
- Resolves income tax issues
- Manages the estate checking account
- Transfers assets in the decedent’s name to the appropriate beneficiaries
- Makes a final disbursement of assets to beneficiaries after all bills and taxes have been paid
Probate lawyers can be involved if certain situations are in place.
- Large estate values
- Deceased people die without a will
- Beneficiaries are suing over asset distribution
Probate in Texas: Why Hire an Attorney
- A probate lawyer is your legal advisor. Your questions about document filing, property evaluation, transfer of property, and will contests are easily addressed with their legal expertise. They also assist beneficiaries and Will executors every step of the way throughout the probate process.
- Probate experts review your asset list and beneficiaries. Your lawyer may help prevent disputes among beneficiaries because they thoroughly review the estate plan arrangements. It’s important to review the estate assets and estate plan so conflicts can be avoided.
- A probate lawyer protects your estate. Some family members may claim properties of the estate without undergoing the necessary legal process. If challenges cannot be resolved privately, they must be countered by a probate attorney who understands all the legal implications.
- Probate lawyers assist your heirs and recipients. As beneficiaries and the estate executor come along with the probate process, questions about the required court documents and affidavits are expected. With a probate lawyer, processing these matters will be easier from start to finish.
We Can Help
Facing probate? Don’t get anxious, get The Voeller Law Firm—we always try to arbitrate things amicably to avoid complex court challenges. If you have questions and need help with your planning, contact us by calling (210) 651-3851 or using our online contact form to send a message and set up a consultation.
We serve San Antonio, Schertz, and the surrounding communities of Bexar County.
19311 FM 2252
San Antonio, Texas 78266