Probate Administration is disposing of assets upon a person’s death by administering, or following the directions in a Will. The process to probate a will can be simple or extremely complex. Fort Worth Probate Lawyer Bob Leonard has a wealth of experience and a proven track record in the probate courts.
Qualified Probate Attorney
Perhaps the biggest challenge is finding the right Fort Worth Probate Attorney so that you know what the courts require. You cannot represent yourself in a Fort Worth Probate court. Therefore you want the best probate lawyer and the best representation. Bob is a highly-skilled and professional probate attorney. He is well-prepared to make sure you get what you deserve and that the estate is handled smoothly and efficiently. The entire probate team cares about your case, your family and your well-being.
After a death, schedule a time to come to our office to meet with an experienced Probate Lawyer. Bring in the Will; we will review it and develop a customized plan to get you through the probate court system as quickly and as simply
Probate disposes of the deceased’s assets through a valid Will. The Executor or Executrix named in the Will applies to the court for permission to probate the Will. After reviewing the documents filed with the court, there is a prove-up. Then the Executor or Executrix is granted Letters of Administration in order to act upon what is in the Will.
INDEPENDENT PROBATE ADMINISTRATION VS. DEPENDENT PROBATE ADMINISTRATION
If there are no conflicts or complications, the Tarrant County or Parker County probate court grants an Independent Administration. If there is something the court needs to watch, the judge grants a Dependent Administration. Even with a valid Will, there might be a person who objects or another reason the judge wants to review each stage of the process.
As the names imply, the Independent Administration allows the Executor or Executrix to act independently in handling the estate. On the other side is a Dependent Administration. In a Dependent Administration, the court requires continuous oversight of the estate. The basic steps are identical, but in a Dependent Administration the Executor or Executrix keeps very detailed records, files reports with the court and requests permission from the court for many actions.
BASIC STEPS OF A PROBATE ADMINISTRATION
- The named executor or an interested person applies to probate a will with an Application filed in the court.
- The Clerk issues citation on the application, and the citations are served.
- If the personal representative (normally the executor or executrix named in the will) is from out of state, then he or she can designate a resident agent for service of process. (Here is where an interested person may contest the will or appointment of the personal representative.)
- The Court may appoint an attorney ad litem, if necessary, to represent nonresidents, unknown or missing heirs, or persons having a legal disability. (This is typically done if there are people whose whereabouts are unknown or if there is a minor or incapacitated person as a beneficiary.)
- The Court holds a hearing on the application for probate of the will, and for issuance of letters testamentary.
- The Court orders the Will admitted to probate, names a personal representative, and grants letters of administration. (Anytime during the next 2 years a person can contest the Will; the time period may be “tolled” for forgery, fraud or incapacity)
- The personal representative takes an oath.
- The Clerk issues letters testamentary.
- The Attorney publishes a notice of the probate and Letters.
- The personal representative takes possession and control of the estate property.
- The personal representative is now responsible for administration of the estate.
- opening an estate bank account
- giving notice to the beneficiaries, IRS and creditors
- preparing and filing an inventory
- filing an estate tax return and a final income tax return
- paying debts appropriately and in accordance with the law
- distributing the property
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Attorney Services Areas for Bob Leonard Law Group, PLLC Probate Law Practice.
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