Texas Probate FAQs
Probate is considered by many a necessary evil. When a testator dies, beneficiaries often are frustrated to learn that the will must be probated. However, the purpose of probate is important, if misunderstood. A probate attorney in Conroe can help you through the probate process, but the following provides some answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about probate in Texas.
What Precisely Is Probate, and Why and When Is It Necessary?
Derived from Latin, the term “probate” literally means “to prove.” As such, one of the tasks of probate is to prove that the document in question is the last will and testament of the decedent. Sometimes probate uncovers another, more recent will. In some cases there is some question about which will actually reflects the decedent's final wishes. There may also be a challenge to the will by an heir. Probate is designed to settle such matters.
Do All Wills Have to Be Probated?
As your probate attorney in Conroe will tell you, probate is not always necessary, particularly when the estate is not large or complex. One may be able to avoid having a larger estate pass through probate by placing the lion's share of assets in a trust.
What other Functions Does Probate Serve?
Probate serves a number of purposes that are essential to ensuring assets are distributed appropriately. First, the probate court needs to establish what personal and real property should be included in the estate. The will does not always accurately reflect all of these assets. The next step is to settle any demands upon the estate, such as creditor claims and taxes. To this end notices to the public and to creditors must be made within a specified time. Finally, probate oversees the distribution of estate assets to rightful beneficiaries.
How Long Can I Expect Probate to Take?
A fairly simply probate can be settled in a relatively short period of time. However, one should expect that probate will take from six months to a year or more. It is difficult to narrow this time further for a number of reasons. For instance, heirs might contest the will, or it may be difficult to ascertain whether some assets should be included. The length of time can be affected by how crowded the court calendar is as well.
What if I Need Help with a Probate Matter?
Probate can be a complex and difficult process. It is important to have a probate attorney in Conroe in your corner if you are involved in the probate of an estate. Call Peterson Law group today at 936-337-4681.