Why Executors Should Have A Probate Attorney

Anyone who hasn’t engaged in any degree of estate planning may be unfamiliar with the probate process and what it means to accomplish. Whether you have written a will or created a trust, you may have to deal with the probate process. When someone passes away, their assets pass through the probate court. This is not necessary when a trust has been established because the deceased didn’t own their assets; the trust did. 

If someone you know passes away, you may have been one of their designated beneficiaries—or you may become an executor. When someone dies without a valid will, there will be an administrator in place of an executor. Attorneys assist beneficiaries, administrators, and executors throughout the probate process on various legal matters. 

The Need for Assistance  

The probate process can take years because of how complicated it can become. People pass away with debts, and the creditors still expect to be paid. Before any beneficiaries can receive the property, the assets must be appraised. An administrator or an executor must oversee this process while ensuring that creditors are paid with the money the deceased left behind. 

This stands in addition to locating any existing life insurance policies, drafting the documents required by the probate court, and paying estate taxes. Your attorney can assist and oversee all of these. Though some of these may sound straightforward, imagine the difficulty you may face if the deceased had no estate plan. Even accessing their bank accounts could present massive hurdles. Regardless of your relationship to the deceased, you will not be able to use the money from the bank accounts unless you had previously been given access—which can be accomplished through estate planning.

The Road Forward 

When someone passes away without an estate plan, they have died intestate. Intestate laws vary by state. Having a probate attorney intimately familiar with these laws will facilitate your role as an administrator or an executor. Another scenario that could surface is when the assets inside the estate fall short of being able to cover debts. And that doesn’t consider the possibility of family members having disagreements about the nature of the will. 

Fraser, Wilson, & Bryan P.C.

Despite some of the potential complications we have discussed, Texas has a relatively simple probate process—and it is one that we have significant experience with. The attorneys at Fraser, Wilson, & Bryan, P.C., will explain the appropriate steps you need to take to navigate the probate process. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.