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Answers to Your Wills And Probate Questions

Do I Need A Will?

If you have questions concerning the care of your loved ones after you are gone, then yes, you do require a will. Without a will, the court could make determinations concerning the distribution of your estate for you. In doing so, the court will need to abide by the laws set down by Texas, and such laws may not reflect your wishes. Individuals ultimately making determinations may be unfamiliar with your circumstances.

There is no more critical estate planning document than a will. Especially regarding a subsequent marriage or a family with stepchildren, loved ones may unintentionally lose out on an inheritance. A court and your heirs may also be unaware of the location of accounts and other assets. And without a will stating what your wishes are concerning your estate, there could be lengthy, expensive and avoidable disputes that will arise.  A will puts your wishes concerning your estate into writing.

What happens during the probate process?

During probate, a court will arrange for asset distribution per your will. Should there be no legally valid will, the court will decide, based on evidence, the correct way to distribute your assets in compliance with Texas law. Not every will need to go through probate. In some instances, the estate is small or contains jointly-held assets. In some circumstances, assets in a trust are sheltered from probate.

When is probate necessary?

In some circumstances, probate is necessary to provide third-party oversight. The probate process can also be essential to resolve disputes under Texas law. Unfortunately, directions in wills can sometimes be unclear. In those circumstances, probate can become essential.

One thing to keep in mind, however. The probate process is complex and often requires the services of an attorney who understands Texas probate law and its courts. A skilled probate attorney will represent your interests and provide guidance regarding the legal process.