Many Texans associate probate with the legal process of implementing your will when you die, and it’s true that this is the focus of many of these cases. However, probate also covers many other situations, encompassing a wide range of laws and regulations. Because these matters often involve family members and loved ones, you’re likely to be involved in a case at some point in your life. When that time comes, you’ll soon realize that it’s critical to retain a probate lawyer to assist with protecting your interests.
Our team at Hargrave Law, PC is knowledgeable in all types of probate matters, from wills and intestate estates to guardianships for disabled adults and minors. We’re ready to advocate on your behalf throughout the process, and will fight to protect your interests in disputed cases. Please contact our firm to set up a case evaluation with a skilled probate attorney who can explain the key details. You might also benefit from reviewing some useful information.
Cases Subject to the Probate Process in Texas
The point behind probate is providing a legal process through which someone has the authority to act on behalf of someone else. In some cases, a person cannot act because he or she has passed away; in others, the individual doesn’t have the capacity to legally act because of impairment or status as a minor. The Texas Estates Code covers these situations through three basic types of probate cases:
- Probate of Wills: When a person has executed a will with instructions regarding his or her final affairs, the document must go through probate to determine its validity and give the executor power to administer the decedent’s estate.
- Intestate Estates: The estate of a person who dies without a will must go through intestate administration, in which the laws of Texas apply to determine who acts for the deceased individual. Typically, that person will be a surviving spouse, adult child, parent, or other relative. The process is similar in that the court will appoint someone to manage the decedent’s estate.
- Conservatorships and Guardianships: Someone without capacity to act with respect to legal matters may need another person to make these decisions for them. For children, the applicable term is conservatorship; guardianships are for incapacitated adults.
Overview of Estate Administration in Probate
The details may vary based upon the type of probate described above, but many estate administration tasks are similar for each. Our attorneys at Hargrave Law, PC will guide you through the process depending upon your unique circumstances.
Effectively, a person appointed by a probate court steps into the shoes of the subject individual. They have a general fiduciary obligation to manage estate assets in a prudent way, but there are also specific duties that depend upon the office. For instance:
- An executor will gather the decedent’s assets, distributed property to designated beneficiaries, and pay off creditors.
- The personal representative in an intestate estate will collect assets and pay the claims of creditors, but property is distributed in accordance with Texas law.
- A conservator or guardian makes financial decisions and manages assets on behalf of the minor child or incapacitated adult. These individuals may also handle decisions regarding health care and well-being.
Learn More by Setting Up a Consultation with a Texas Probate Lawyer
If you’re involved in a probate matter in any capacity, qualified legal representation is essential. To learn more about how we can help, please contact Hargrave Law, PC to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. You can reach our offices in Bedford, Carrollton, or Grapevine, TX by calling 817-282-0679 or complete our web intake form. We’ll be in a better position to advise you once we learn more about your situation.