Flaherty Jones Thompson Focuses on Probate Law
We can help with Probate
Traditionally, when a person dies their property passes through probate. Probate is the process where the will is probated (or the heirs are determined), an executor is appointed, the decedent’s debts are settled, taxes are paid, and assets are distributed to their heirs or beneficiaries.
Not all property passes through probate. Revocable trusts, life insurance policies, beneficiary designated bank or financial accounts, annuities, and retirement benefits with designated beneficiaries, all typically pass outside of the probate process. We assist our clients in making sure these non-probate transfers are properly coordinated with your will, trust, and overall estate plan.
Probate in Texas can be simple and inexpensive. In this respect Texas is very different from some states, such as California, where even a simple probate is a nightmare. With a properly drafted Will, which provides for an independent executor without bond, the probate process can be easy. It gets complicated if there are creditor problems, tax issues, disputes among beneficiaries, or a poorly written will.
We carefully consider whether or not alternatives to a probate proceeding are available and whether the estate can be handled in an easier and less expensive way than a probate proceeding, such as probate as a muniment of title, affidavits of heirship, or small estate affidavits.
We will work with you to find the most economical solution and to ensure that the probate process is started and completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
While receiving your appointment as an executor in Texas may be the easy part, knowing what to do after you are appointed is often a daunting task to the uninitiated. We will guide you through your duties as an executor or trustee, and we will provide you with detailed instructions that will enable you to fulfill your legal duties to the beneficiaries.
We will work with you to prepare and file all of the necessary probate documents. If needed, we will also prepare and file the United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, Form 706. We strive to make probate as swift and simple as possible.
Our specialized services:
- Probate of Wills
- Heirship Determinations
- Executor Appointment, Opposition and Removal
- Probate Hearings
- Administration: Including collecting assets, paying debts, tax issues, and beneficiary distributions
- Estate Tax Filings
- Estate Distribution Agreements
- Family Settlement Agreements
- Funding Agreements
- Estate Litigation