Welcome to adult life, where nothing is certain but death and taxes. Undoubtedly, death is inevitable and so; one must make sure that after their death, their loved ones receive what they legally deserve from the person’s estate by developing an authorized will.
In Texas, probate attorneys recommend creating a will under the supervision of an experienced attorney to avoid any disputes and complications after your demise. Yet, many people in Texas end up delaying the creation of an authorized will and consequently, the estate has to undergo the probate process according to Texas probate laws as set by the court.
Basically, probate laws are all about what happens to the estate or properties and assets left by the deceased. It involves the adequate distribution of those assets legally, according to Texan laws.
Whether the person has left a genuine will or not, the estate has to be divided adequately to fulfill the basic civil rights of the surviving individuals. These surviving individuals consist of creditors and inheritors including mentioned beneficiary, children, spouse, blood relatives, cousins, etc. If the demised person does not have any family member or creditors, the entire property and money is taken by the state.
Read on to know more about what happens to the estate according to the probate laws in Texas.
Distribution of Property If a Person Dies Without a Will
It is always better to develop an authorized will under the supervision of an experienced probate attorney and get it signed by the witnesses. This saves heirs from indulging into possible disputes, plus the property owner is also assured that the assets are being divided according to their desire.
For instance, if one of the grandchildren has helped and taken care of you more in your old age, or is more capable or deserving of the property that you own, you might want to mention the name of that particular grandchild as a sole beneficiary in the will.
Otherwise, if a person dies without taking the required action, the property will be distributed to the direct relatives, probably the surviving children, if any, instead of that particular grandchild. This is not what you might have wanted but it is legally right in Texas, if the will was not created.
To prevent such situations from occurring, contact an experienced probate attorney who can help you through the process of developing a will according to your wishes.
Moreover, the imperative part within the will is to mention an independent administrator or executor who is given the right to make decisions regarding the distribution of the estate. If there is no will, the task is usually given to the dependent administrator, typically chosen by the court.
What happens in Dependent Administration?
Dependent Administration is usually perceived as a very complicated process as it requires a lot of scrutiny, involvement of the court and long hearings. However, in reality, dependent administration simply involves a probate attorney or executor selected by the court to deal with all the property transactions, including selling of personal property or real estate.
Moreover, a dependent administrator is required to sign a bond with an insurance company to ensure following of legitimate procedures. This also protects the estate against losses possible as a consequence of any fraud or negligence from the side of the executor. As the procedure is lengthy and requires professional assistance throughout, additionally ensuring the court’s approval at every stage of the probate process, it can be costly and time consuming.
However, it is the most appropriate channel of carrying out the probate process, ensuring elimination of any chance of dispute or disagreements between the inheritors and is also a better option when there is high amount of debt involved.
Decedent Leaves an Authorized Will
The probate procedure becomes comparatively simpler and less time consuming if the will is already made and approved by the court. A genuine will, if made with the assistance of an experienced probate lawyer in Texas, will include all the legitimate details and answers to the questions that might arise after the demise of the person, particularly regarding their belongings and important decisions.
A proper will includes the name of the independent administrator or executor which allows the procedure to be carried out seamlessly without spending long hours in the court waiting for the approval of each and every normal step of the probate process.
Generally, if the decedent has left an authentic will with the name of an independent administrator, the court hearing lasts only a few hours and the entire procedure is quite cheap compared to dependent administration.
Moreover, if there is unity amongst the inheritors, the executor can ask the court for the authority to serve as an independent administrator. This is possible if the will is not prepared and the beneficiaries mutually agree to make this happen.
Furthermore, in independent administration, the executor does not require signing any bond with an insurance company but must notify the potential creditors legally and must file an inventory of assets with the court.
Nonetheless, regardless of the type of administration heirs have to go through in order to accomplish a legalized probate process, hiring a reliable and experienced probate attorney makes the event less complicated as they are well versed in estate law matters and are aware of what to expect throughout the proceedings.
When is The Probate Process Not Required?
According to various experienced probate lawyers in Texas, the probate process is not required in various situations, particularly those in which it is officially decided where the money and assets will go after the death of a person.
Mentioned below are the few instances which definitely necessitate no probate process in Texas:
#1: Community property
Community property is the shared property between husband and wife, each of them having a survivorship right. That is, if one of the partners dies, the property is automatically owned by the surviving tenant or partner. This is only applicable to married couples. Also, it is only allowed in the case of community properties, which means any other property such as inherited assets cannot be owned by the spouse without a legal probate process.
#2: Joint tenancy
Any type of joint bank account or joint tenancy which involves right of survivorship automatically allows the surviving party to have complete ownership of the assets after the demise of the associated partner. Joint tenancy is similar to the community property in which all the assets are shared evenly. Thus, this does not require any probate process.
#3: Life insurance
The living beneficiary can contact the life insurance company to get the benefits as mentioned in the company policies after the death of their loved one. Life insurance is an official proceeding which does not require any probate process, particularly if the name of the beneficiary has been mentioned, which is commonly the case.
#4: Retirement accounts
Like life insurance, retirement accounts may also grant some benefits to the beneficiaries in the form of payment as confirmed by the retirement account manager. In this, beneficiaries’ names are already mentioned and they can benefit accordingly without undergoing any probate process.
Similarly, any official document or agreement made with the involvement of a licensed company that ensures transferring of the property rights and ownership to the particular beneficiaries, does not require going through probate process. However, it is always better to consult a proficient and experienced probate attorney who can guide you throughout the legal procedures and paperwork involving probate laws and distribution of assets.
You can find reliable and experienced probate attorney in Texas such as those available in Hardesty Law Office. You can contact the proficient lawyers of Hardesty Law Office at 469-336-5227.