Guiding You Through The Probate Process
Probate is the process of gathering a decedent’s assets, paying all debts and distributing the remaining assets according to the decedent’s wishes as spelled out in a will. If a person dies without a will, the assets are distributed according to Texas laws of intestacy.
The Texas probate process is more streamlined than in many other states, but most probate courts still require an executor be represented by an attorney. Failure to navigate the process correctly can delay administration of an estate and result in litigation.
Mackoy, Hernandez, Qualls, Jones and Woods LLP provide experienced legal counsel in probate and all other estate planning matters. If the decedent had extensive assets, the probate process can be complicated. Our extensive experience valuing complex assets for property division purposes in divorce benefits our probate clients.
Independent Administration Of Estates
Texas probate law allows any adult of sound mind to execute a valid will. This is known as independent administration. It grants executors broad powers to act without court permission. The result is a probate process that is more efficient and less costly than in many other states.
When a person dies without a will (dying intestate), the estate usually goes through dependent administration. Unlike independent administration, the dependent administration process requires court supervision at nearly every step. The decedent and heirs forfeit a lot of control, the process is more costly and it usually takes longer. Clearly, it makes good sense to have a valid will and other estate plan instruments in place.
Contesting A Will
We also represent clients in contesting wills or defending against will contests. In order to contest a will, you must be an “interested party,” which is any party that would have a property right or claim against the estate. A will may be contested if:
- It is not written or executed properly
- The testator (the person writing the will) did not have the mental capacity to make, alter or revoke a will
- The testator was subjected to undue influence that prevented the testator from creating a will that reflected his or her true wishes
- It is shown to be a fake or written by someone other than the person who signed it
Connect With Our Estate Administration Lawyer
At Mackoy, Hernandez, Qualls, Jones and Woods LLP, we bring extensive experience in estate administration and litigation to our clients in Collin and Denton and Dallas Counties. Call 469-269-0134 or use our online contact form to schedule a meeting.