Probate Lawyers in Dallas
What Is Probate?
Probate law is a specific area of estate law that dictates that an estate must be settled under the supervision of the court. Typically a person, usually the surviving spouse or an adult child of the deceased, will be appointed by the court when there is no will or no one nominated by the will of the deceased. Once this individual is appointed by the court, they will officially be declared the executor or personal representative of the estate. This declaration gives them the authority to gather and value the assets owned by the estate to settle any bills and taxes before distributing the remaining assets to the heirs and beneficiaries of the estate.
Considering the potential complexities involved in probate matters, individuals will often seek out a probate attorney who has the knowledge and experience necessary to resolve all probate matters swiftly and efficiently. The Dallas probate attorneys at Garza Law Firm have spent years helping countless clients sort through probate matters in an effort to provide reliable guidance and legal counsel during this very sensitive and emotional time. If you or a loved one is facing probate, it's important to understand the process and how an experienced attorney can help.
What Is the Purpose of Probate?
Generally speaking, the process of probate is designed to prevent situations of fraud after someone has died. Probate acts as a way of freezing the estate until a judge can determine the validity of a will and that all relevant people have been notified. The judge will also ensure that all of the property in the estate has been both identified and appraised so that the executor can pay off all creditors and taxes left on the estate. Once that has been taken care of, the court will issue an official order mandating that the remaining property is distributed before closing the estate.
Do All Estates go through Probate?
In Texas, not all estates are required to go through probate. If an estate falls below a certain threshold, it can be considered a "small estate" and, thus, will not require court supervision to be settled.
Furthermore, not all assets are subject to probate. There are certain kinds of assets that can be transferred automatically upon the death of the owner with no probate required. Estates can also avoid probate if the decedent created a living trust to hold the estate's largest assets—as long as the assets left outside of the trust do not add up to more than Texas's small estate limit.
Probate without a Will
Sometimes a loved one passes without leaving a will, which is referred to as being "intestate." When that happens, there are several probate options available to the heirs. These options include an affidavit of heirship, a small estate affidavit, and a proceeding to determine heirship that may or may not include an administration. The Dallas probate attorneys at Garza Law Firm can work with the heirs to determine which type of probate action makes the most sense to pursue, depending on the size of the estate and the type of property involved.
Don't Wait—Let Us Help You Today
At the end of the day, there are a lot of details involved in probate matters that you can't afford to overlook. Our attorneys have gathered extensive experience working through probate cases to help clients quickly and efficiently settle all estate matters so that they can begin to move forward with life after losing a loved one. If you or someone you know is facing probate, don't wait to handle these matters.
Call Garza Law Firm today at (214) 225-4344 and let us make sure you and your family are taken care of.