How Does Probate Work?
The term “probate” seems to have come to be synonymous with unnecessary bureaucratic red tape and legal ineffectiveness. This could not be further from the truth, however, for probate is a very important component in the division of estate assets. A College Station Probate Attorney can help if you are faced with probating a will.
What Is Probate?
Probate is the process by which the court identifies assets and debts of an estate and determines how they should be distributed/paid. Generally the decedent will have named an executor in the will, but if this was not done the probate court judge will do so. The role of the executor is as follows:
- Prove that the will is valid.
- Make a list of assets and debts for the court.
- Explain to the court how the will articulates the division of assets to beneficiaries.
- Pay outstanding debts and distribute the remaining assets.
In all cases the executor is to follow the wishes that are explicit in the will.
How Does the Probate Process Work?
If you are the executor of a will, you may find it useful to have a probate lawyer in your corner as you proceed. An attorney can help you understand the process and make sure that you abide by the process fully.
The probate process usually takes a number of months, and in some cases over a year will pass before probate is finalized. The process begins when the executor files papers in a local probate court. A hearing is then scheduled, at which time he will present the will to the judge and explain the wishes that are outlined within. The executor will also present a complete list of all assets and debts, as well as an explanation of how the assets are to be distributed.
Keep in mind that debts must be paid before the remaining assets are paid. That said, beneficiaries often request payments from their share during the probate process to help with necessary living expenses during the wait. After the hearing, the executor manages the estate until such time all debts are paid and assets distributed to beneficiaries.
A Texas Probate Attorney Can Help
If you are the named executor in a will, a College Station Probate Attorney can provide considerable assistance and help ensure that you complete all the necessary steps in the probate process. Call Peterson Law Group today to arrange a consultation at 979-703-7014.