Probate FAQs2022-01-13T17:26:20-06:00

Probate FAQs

What happens if a loved one dies without a Will?2022-01-17T17:54:33-06:00

When someone dies without a will, Texas law determines what happens to the assets in their estate. The probate process must be conducted in order to distribute estate assets to the heirs or heirs-at-law as required by Texas law are distributed to the closest family members, which include a surviving spouse and/or children in most cases.

Probate Terms to Know2022-01-17T17:53:12-06:00

Administrator: When the decedent has passed on without leaving a valid will and no executor has been named, Texas law requires that an administrator be named to carry out the duties of an executor. The court will often appoint one of the primary heirs to act in this capacity.

Beneficiaries: These are the loved ones named in a will.

Decedent: This is the legal term for the person who has died and whose estate is in the probate process.

Estate: In the state of Texas, an estate consists of all the decedent’s assets. These include, but aren’t limited to, cash, real estate holdings (homes, land, etc.), stocks and bonds, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, vehicles and personal belongings.

Executor: When a person dies with a valid will in place, the document typically names a person to serve as executor of the estate. The chief duties of the executor will be to inventory and catalogue the decedent’s assets; pay taxes and debts of the estate; file lawsuits for claims owed to the estate; and distribute assets from the estate to the beneficiaries as named in the decedent’s will.

Heirs or Heirs-at-Law: This is the legal term used for next-of-kin of the decedent when there is no will. The court determines who receives assets from the decedent’s estate according to Texas law.

Will: This is the legal document in which a decedent has outlined how he or she would like assets distributed among their loved ones.

Why is it good to avoid probate?2022-01-17T17:25:45-06:00

Time and money. Probate is a court process with all of its various proceedings, such as court hearings, gathering or inventorying estate asset and paying off debts, which takes months or even years. You can take appropriate steps to avoid probate of your assets. If you have any questions about how to avoid probate of your assets, call us to schedule a free consultation today.

What are the probate steps in Texas?2022-01-13T18:13:53-06:00

Step 1: Filing the Application
Step 2: Posting of the Application
Step 3: Validation of the Will
Step 4: Cataloging Assets
Step 5: Identify Beneficiaries
Step 6: Notifying Creditors
Step 7: Resolving Disputes
Step 8: Distributing Assets

Interested in what the 8 steps of Texas probate are? Click here for a comprehensive guide on how it all works.

What is probate in simple terms?2022-01-13T17:13:28-06:00

The probate process is the entire system for administering an estate after someone passes away. This includes everything from tax responsibilities and debts to possessions, so it’s important that you have a say in how your money or assets will be distributed when they’re gone! If there are any questions about this type of law matter feel free get back with us because our attorneys here at Brown Law PLLC can help guide all aspects towards clarity.

How much money can you inherit without paying taxes on it?2022-01-13T17:06:39-06:00

The federal estate tax is complicated, but it’s important to know. The amount of assets that are subject to this taxes varies depending on your lifetime and the year you pass away in particular; for example if someone dies during calendar years 2021-2022 then they will be taxed at 18% or 40%.

What is the job of my executor?2022-01-17T17:28:39-06:00

Your executor is responsible for gathering your assets, making sure your debts and taxes are paid, and distributing the money to your beneficiaries.

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