After losing a loved one, you may have to probate their estate. This legal process involves filing paperwork, meeting deadlines, and following the rules of the Texas probate law.
During a time of grief, probate is likely the last thing you want to think about, so let us help. A Texas probate lawyer from The Law Offices of Kyle Robbins, PLLC, can guide you through probate, giving you peace of mind.
What Is the Probate Process?
Probate refers to the process of proving the validity of a will. However, the process as a whole involves more than that. Although probate looks different for every estate, here are the general tasks involved in probate:
- File a petition to probate the estate;
- Attend a hearing in probate court;
- Prove the authenticity of the will, if applicable;
- Identify and value the decedent’s assets;
- Notify creditors and beneficiaries;
- Pay off the decedent’s debts;
- File final tax returns; and
- Distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.
This process can quickly become overwhelming if you are not familiar with it. A Texas probate attorney can save you time, money, and hassle by giving you proper guidance.
Is Probate Always Necessary?
No. Only estates with assets titled solely in the name of the decedent need to go through probate. These are known as “probate assets” and require the oversight of the probate court to ensure the right beneficiaries or heirs get the assets.
Probate is unnecessary if the decedent owned assets that are jointly titled or have a beneficiary designation (i.e., “non-probate assets”). Those assets automatically transfer to the co-owner or beneficiary. Some examples of non-probate assets are life insurance policies, property owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, and “payable-on-death” (POD) bank accounts.
Even if probate is necessary, you may not have to go through a full probate proceeding. In Texas, you can file a Small Estate Affidavit if the estate’s value is $75,000 or less, the decedent died without a will, and there’s no real property in the estate. This is a much simpler process.
One of our probate attorneys can evaluate the estate and advise you on the best course of action.
How Much Does Probate Cost?
The cost to probate an estate depends on how difficult it is to administer. Probate costs consist of filing fees, notification fees, executor compensation, and fees for professional services, such as lawyers and appraisers.
Keep in mind that all probate costs, including attorneys fees, are paid by the estate, not the executor.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Probate in Texas?
There’s no legal requirement to hire a Texas probate lawyer, but their services are quite valuable. Having an attorney who’s familiar with the process can avoid unnecessary delays, thereby saving time and money. When you hire an Austin Texas probate lawyer from our office, they can help with many different tasks, including helping you determine if probate is even necessary. We also assist with the following:
- Completing and filing the probate petition;
- Communicating with the probate court;
- Contacting creditors, beneficiaries, and heirs;
- Locating assets; and
- Preparing tax returns.
If the estate becomes involved in litigation, we can represent you in probate court. Our probate lawyers are prepared to handle a variety of probate matters, so give us a call to discuss the estate.
How Much Is a Probate Lawyer in Texas?
Texas probate lawyer fees vary widely. Typically, a probate attorney will bill either by the hour or charge a flat fee. What most impacts the cost of a lawyer is the complexity of the estate. For example, if the estate has tax obligations, hard-to-value assets, or someone sues the estate, you will likely have a higher bill. Most likely, you’ll also have to hire a more experienced attorney to handle these difficult issues. Thus, the more experienced the attorney, the more they will charge.
Do you qualify for probate?
Fill out our quick questionnaire to determine if you need probate, what type of probate you may need, and estimated fees.
Hire a Texas Probate Lawyer from The Law Offices of Kyle Robbins, PLLC
If you’re wondering how to find a Texas probate attorney, look no further. At The Law Offices of Kyle Robbins, PLLC, we focus on helping families by simplifying complex legal processes. All of our attorneys have graduated at the top of their class from one of the best schools in the nation. We work together as a team to provide you with exceptional legal services.
We understand the difficulty of losing someone you love, so let us handle the probate process for you. To speak to an attorney, call our office at 512-643-9415. You can also request a free consultation by filling out our online form.