Frequently asked Questions
In addition to the specific questions answered below, your attention is directed to the tab called "PUBLISHED ARTICLES" which will provide in depth information of numerous subjects involving wills and probate in the state of Texas
HOW DIFFICULT IS PROBATE?
In spite of all of the terrible stories that are circulated, probate is typically a very simple and low-cost procedure.
· Application is made to probate the will. This is a two-page document to which the original of your will is attached.
· The Court Clerk publishes notice.
· If everything has been done properly, only one court appearance is normally required, and it is a very brief (5-10 minute) hearing. The executor is sworn in and Letters Testamentary are issued.
· A letter testamentary is a document which gives the executor the legal right to deal with the deceased’s property.
· An inventory of the estate is filed. (This is a very simple form which can be completed with the help of your attorney’s office staff.)
· The executor then simply follows the instructions set out in the Will.
· Unless there are many, many debts owed, or the Will is contested, the estate should be distributed in a very short period of time.
· If there are a large number of bills owed, it will take some planning between the executor and the attorney to preserve estate assets, but doing so is not normally a long, drawn-out or expensive approach.
Probate in Texas is a simple straightforward (often misunderstood) process.
IF MY SPOUSE AND I HAVE CHILDREN FROM PRIOR MARRIAGES- DOES IT RAISE ANY SPECIAL PROBLEMS?
Yes, If either you or your spouse die without a will it can create huge problems with ownership of some of your assets. See the attached article "Blended Families"
DO I NEED A TRUST?
As a part of your will, you may wish to provide for the care of children or others over a period of time after your death. This is a simple process and is included in the flat fee wills provided by this firm.
Trusts can serve many uses and can be utilized for many special purposes, including tax planning wills, but even the simplest of wills and the most modest estates may contain trusts. See also- "Trusts" and "Trust Scams"
WHAT IS A LIVING WILL?
A so-called "Living Will" is not really a will at all. It should more acurately be called a "Directive to Physicians". It is the document that tells your doctor what type of life saving steps that you wish to have him take in the event that you are facing ultimate death
.MY SPOUSE AND I EACH HAVE CHILDREN FROM PRIOR MARRIAGES. HOW CAN I PROTECT MY CHILDREN IF I DIE FIRST?
See attached articles "Contractual Wills" and "Blended Families"