Legal Help with Probate of a Will in North Texas
Prosper and Frisco Probate Attorney
It is a common assumption that avoiding probate is always desirable. The truth is, probate can serve some important functions: ensuring the fair and efficient distribution of assets, ensuring creditors receive payment, protecting the rights of beneficiaries, and upholding the decedent’s last wishes.
It is an honorable and necessary process that someone must fulfill.
Probate lawyer Jeffrey Yates can provide as much or as little assistance as you need. If you have probated a Will in the past and are just uncertain about a few points, he can answer any questions you may have. If you need comprehensive guidance, he will take you step-by-step through the process from filing the paperwork in probate court to closing the estate.
The Job of Executor in Probating a Texas Estate
As the executor of a Texas estate, you will have a variety of duties, many of which benefit from having investigatory, financial, accounting and legal insights. When you work with our firm we will evaluate the Last Will and Testament and prepare a checklist for you of the steps you need to take.
In some instances, we may be able to advise you of probate alternatives that can save you time and expense. Learn more about probate alternatives.
In most cases, however, probate will include the following:
- Filing the Last Will and Testament with a Texas probate court
- Notifying creditors of the death and paying or negotiating valid debts
- Collecting on debts owed to the decedent, which are now owed to the estate
- Notifying heirs and beneficiaries of the death within 60 days of your appointment as executor
- Locating assets belonging to the decedent
- Submitting an inventory of the estate within 90 days of your appointment as executor
- Maintaining and preserving the decedent’s property
- Opening bank accounts for the estate and closing the decedent’s accounts
- Transferring assets to the estate
- Paying estate taxes and any other taxes owed to the IRS and the state of Texas
- Distributing bequests in accordance with the Will
As an Executor You Have a Fiduciary Duty
The executor is considered a fiduciary, which means you must act in the best interest of the beneficiaries. This includes:
- Avoiding conflicts of interests
- Receiving no personal benefit from your position as executor
- Acting with diligence to complete your duties
- Making your best effort to perform each task
- Abiding by the terms presented in the Will
- Following federal and Texas laws
- Behaving honestly, ethically and legally
It Is Up to You to Preserve the Assets of the Estate
Depending on the complexity of the estate and the length of time it takes to get through the probate process, you may have to take action to preserve the assets of the estate. Attorney Yates will help you make arrangements to:
- Pay the mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities on real estate
- Maintain landscaping and make repairs to avoid property deterioration
- Establish security of a vacant property against vandalism or burglary
- Make loan payments on cars, boats, electronics and other assets
- Cancel monthly payments for personal services, such as movie streaming, gym memberships and health insurance
- File claims for health, auto, life or casualty insurance reimbursements
We know it is a lot to think about at a time of stress and mourning. We think of it for you.
Get the Help You Need Probating a North Texas Estate
Pick up the phone whenever you have a question. Call our firm at 214-430-4440 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our Prosper, Plano or Frisco law offices. We serve clients in McKinney, Celina, Allen and communities throughout Denton County