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Texas probate has two kinds of probate – independent administration and dependent administration. Most estates go through an independent administration and could be detrimental when it’s clear a dependent administration is necessary. There are many ways that properties and assets may be transferred to another person once an estate owner has died.

Independent Administration

This kind of probate doesn’t need as much court supervision, is quicker and costs less than other probate types. Suppose a person dies without living behind a Will. In that case, the estate administrator can make a request for an independent administration, but only if all heirs agree, there are no minor heirs to consider, and it’s a solvent estate.

Dependent Administration

While not as common as an independent administration, it may be necessary if a person dies with no Will and heirs cannot agree on an independent administration.

This type of probate may be necessary if there is a dispute over a Will or when minor heirs are involved. However, it’s also necessary when it’s an insolvent estate. With this kind of probate, there is an increase in court supervision to address the factors involving the estate – asset distribution, paying debts, selling property, etc.

Dependent administration means the constant visit to the courthouse for anything. In cases of an independent administration, there is a single hearing where people take the Oath in court with everything else addressed outside of it.

Business law legal services include:

  • Independent Administration

  • Dependent Administration

  • Muniment of Title

  • Small Estate Affidavit

  • Contested & Uncontested Wills

  • Determination of Heirship

  • Affidavits of Heirships

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Muniment of Title

Texas law also has a “muniment of title” – a simple process of handling an estate where there is a Will but is limited to anything related to Medicaid Estate Reimbursement. It’s only possible when there is a certainty that no administration of the estate will be opened.

Small Estate Affidavit

Heirs can also sign a “small estate affidavit” when an estate is no more than $75,000, and no Will is available. This is filed in probate court but does not need a judge’s signature to sign off on it. These are only possible for very limited situations, such as attaining a title for homestead. Anything more complex requires an heirship when there is no valid Will.

Dealing With Debts and Assets

Once probate has been started, two factors must be dealt with – debt payments and asset transference. This will include the following:

  • Validity – When a will is available, the probate process works to validate it. If any eligible party wishes to contest it, the matter is brought to probate court to find out if it’s valid.

  • Appraisals – Probate court will appraise the major components of a person’s assets, such as home, vehicles, businesses, family heirlooms, etc. The appraisal is done to determine what the actual value is.

  • Debts – A person who dies often has outstanding debts such as taxes, hospital bills, etc. As such, the Pratt Law Group has probate attorneys that will assess how best to deal with them.

  • Distributions – Once all of the above have been done, the estate’s assets and properties are distributed.

It’s always best to hire an experienced probate attorney to help you with this process to ensure that it works out in your favor.

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What are some non-probate assets?

  • Bank accounts “payable on death”

  • Joint tenancy property
  • Life insurance benefits

  • Retirement accounts with valid beneficiary designations

  • Real property with valid transfer on death deeds to file in county records

  • Survivor’s annuity benefits

It’s not uncommon for people to not make a valid beneficiary designation or update them when circumstances change, such as significant life events.

Is Probate Necessary In Texas?

For the most part, the majority of estates go through some kind of probate, as it’s the official way to settle an estate and transfer titles. Some assets don’t go through the probate process, and if done properly, they rely only on contract law.

How Does Texas Handle Businesses In Estates?

When a person dies and has a business, you will need the help of an experienced probate lawyer to help you deal with the business’ interests. Pratt Law Group has highly-knowledgeable probate lawyers who can handle any kind of estate planning that also includes businesses or other high-value assets.

We will look at any business a person has left behind, so heirs can rightly assume the benefits of securing their futures. This may include:

  • Asset liquidation

  • Fairly dividing business interests

  • Continuing the business

Every situation is different, so an expert probate lawyer is necessary to get the results you want.

Contested Wills In Texas

With combined experience of more than 75 years, we have helped clients who want to contest a relative’s will. We are proud to have offered our probate services and fiduciary defense, including trustees and executors.

You should never try to contest a will yourself; the issue can be rather tricky. You will need evidence to ensure your case is successful.

We have experienced probate attorneys who can help you with the probate process – from beginning to end. We work with our clients, keeping them updated on the status of the case and how things will go. This helps them continue with their lives and feel assured that the wishes of their loved ones will be carried out.

Contact Us Today For Your Probate Needs & Questions

If you want help settling a loved one’s estate, Pratt Law Group is more than willing to help you litigate the matter. It doesn’t matter what side of the probate process you will be on. We can help. Get in touch with one of our probate lawyers and let us know the circumstances surrounding your situation.

We provide our clients with customized representation. We offer an initial consultation that allows us to hear your case. Call (888) 517-4575. Honor your loved one’s life by carrying out their final wishes even without a will. We can help you get through this process as expeditiously as possible to get you the desired outcome.