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Probate Attorney
11hands looking at paperwork
02
Jun

Letters Testamentary in Texas

After a person passes away, there is often a lot that needs to be done to settle their affairs and distribute their property. This can be a complicated and time-consuming process, especially if the person had significant assets or debts. One of the first steps in this process is for a personal representative to apply...
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11family settlement agreements texas
02
Jun

Family Settlement Agreement Instead of a Probate

The process of probate administration can be lengthy, complicated, and costly. Fortunately, Texas law provides various alternatives to a full probate administration. These alternatives include a small estate affidavit, an affidavit of heirship, and a family settlement agreement. While each of these options has its own unique set of requirements and limitations, a family settlement...
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11safe deposit box probate texas
02
Jun

Probate and Accessing a Safe Deposit Box in Texas

The search for a last will and testament and other papers is one of the first steps to take after someone passes away.  The will is generally needed to start the probate process.  Beneficiary forms are needed to get access to accounts. The list goes on and on. While the interested parties may be able...
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11lost original will
02
Jun

What Happens if You Lose an Original Will?

We live in a digital world, and most of our important documents are stored in digital form. Many of our documents can only be found by searching through our email inbox. However, some documents, such as wills, must be kept in paper form. This raises a concern: what happens when the original will is lost...
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11distribute probate assets
02
Jun

Contesting a Will After the Probate Assets are Distributed

There are a number of challenges an executor can face in administering an estate. Will contests are an example. Even the best-written will can be challenged. These disputes can be particularly troubling if they are filed after the estate has been administered and the probate assets have been distributed. The executor may have no way...
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11texas probate bond
02
Jun

Executor Not Required to Post Bond Absent Complaint

Texas law allows for independent administrations. This is an informal probate process. This gives the executor a considerable amount of leeway to administer the probate estate. The independent executor is only guided by instructions in the will, if there is a will, and/or by the rules in the Texas Estates Code. This is why the...
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11probate attorney ad litem
02
Jun

Texas Probate Attorney Ad Litem Fee is Not Negotiable

When someone dies without a will, the probate courts in Texas are required to appoint attorneys to represent the unknown heirs.  This attorney is referred to as an “attorney ad litem.” The attorney ad litem fee is paid out of the probate assets of the estate.  The amount of the fee can vary widely based...
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11will construction suit texas
02
Jun

Texas Courts Strictly Construe Language in Wills

The courts will generally enforce the terms of a valid will.  The focus is on the language of the will, not external evidence that suggests a different meaning for the language included in the will.  A good example of this can be found in Estate of Neal, No. 02-16-00381-CV (Ct. App.–Ft. Worth 2018), in which the...
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11clear title late filed will
02
Jun

Obtaining Clear Title When Will Not Probated

A will has to be admitted to probate to be valid. And there is a time limit to admit a will to probate in Texas. Those who inherit everything under a will may not meet this deadline thinking that they do not need to probate the will, given that they inherit everything. This often results...
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11probate court hearing
02
Jun

Damages Suit Against Executor Must be in Probate Court

Probate is the legal process of administering a person’s estate after they die. In Texas, there are several different options and choices available for handling probate matters, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Disputes can arise during the probate process, which can make the process even more complicated. In such cases, one of...
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