Probate court proceedings can be costly, long, and stressful. Taking the time to take steps to spare your family this hassle will lead to an easier grieving process for them. In Texas, living trust laws allow you to make a living trust for every asset you own. You will need to create a trust document, similar to that of a will, which names someone as your successor trustee after your death. Next, you must transfer ownership of your property to yourself as the trustee of your trust. When that is done, your property is controlled by the trust. At your death, the successor trustee can transfer it to trust beneficiaries without the need for court. A wills & probate attorney in Texas can help you successfully achieve this goal.
Avoiding Probate With Ease
If you own property with someone, known as joint ownership, the surviving owner automatically owns the property. No probate is needed for this transfer of property so it isn’t necessary to include it in a trust. In a trust, you can also add a payable-on-death feature to bank accounts, which allows your beneficiary to claim the money from the bank without the need for court too.
As of 2015, the state of Texas allows you to leave real estate with transfer-on-death deeds. These deeds are also called beneficiary deeds, which allows you to revoke the deed or sell the property at any time. The beneficiary that you name in your trust has no rights until your death.
Planning for your death is a great way to help your family to get through this difficult time. By hiring a professional wills & probate attorney in Arlington, you can ensure that they are protected and no court proceedings will be required for your trust. If you or a loved one need help with will preparation or trust preparation from a wills & probate lawyer in Texas, call 817-261-5000 today.
If a person dies without a will in Arlington, Texas and title to his or her property doesn’t include joint tenancy, then issues will arise with distribution of the deceased’s belongings. This property is known as heirship property. Probate proceedings in county court are generally required in order to appoint a personal representative of the estate and for a judgment of heirship to be made. A Texas probate lawyer from Hixson Law Firm can help remedy these issues during your difficult time.
When Do I Need an Affidavit of Heirship?
An Affidavit of Heirship in Texas is even sometimes used if the decedent had a will, as that it is merely stating their intent. This legal document must be signed by a related person to the deceased alongside two witnesses. The affidavit of heirship will spell out who the legal heirs to the property are, what the property is exactly and who gains ownership of said property. A full list of the property owned is included and detailed with what property is designated to who. For land, this affects title deeds. This affidavit also helps transfer ownership to heirs in lieu of a deed transfer.
An affidavit of heirship is filed with the county clerk. It then must be approved by a probate court. If the decedent left a will and it was in the process of probate, it must be presented for approval so that the probate process can finish. If real estate was being transferred in this document, it must be filed with the county recorder’s office in the county where the land is.
If you or a loved one need help with drafting an affidavit of heirship in Arlington from a wills & probate lawyer in Arlington, Texas, call 817-261-5000 today.
Texas estate administration is when the decedent’s assets are collected, their debts settled, and their assets distributed to their heirs (if no wills) or beneficiaries (if there’s a will). Regardless whether someone had a will or not, the estate will need to be administrated, no matter their size. A professional Texas lawyer has experience with these cases and can help the process to be as stress-free as possible.
What are the laws associated with the administration of estate in Texas?
If the person had a will, the person who handles the estate is known as an executor, if they didn’t, they are known as the administration. Texas estate administration laws require this process to be completed this way:
- The executor/administrator must collect all assets
- The executor/administrator must pay/settle claims against the estate
- The executor/administrator must pay all taxes with these assets
- The executor/administrator must distribute the estate to the appropriate parties
Please note that if the decedent died intestate, the executor/administrator must petition the court to determine their heirs.
If the deceased had a will, it needs to be probated by the court, meaning the validity of the will is determined. This should happen within four years from the date of the decedent’s death. A will must follow these requirements:
- Must be signed by another person at his or her direction
- The will must be witnessed by two witnesses over the age of 14 that aren’t included in the will.
The way that assets are distributed depends on whether the decedent was married or not. For individuals who died without a will and have less than $50,000 in property, a small estate affidavit may be used in lieu of probate.
If you or a loved one need help with settling an estate in Arlington from a Texas lawyer, call 817-261-5000 today for professional legal help.