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Alternatives to probate process may help to save time, money

Dealing with the death of a loved one is naturally difficult in Texas, but having to simultaneously deal with the probate process may make the ordeal even more trying. Some people's deceased loves ones have defined estate plans, but for others, their deceased loved ones have provided little direction regarding whether or not the process of probate is truly the best option for distributing their assets. An attorney can help people to determine if they should use the probate process or an alternative to probate.

The process of probate is not always efficient. This is especially true in cases where significant assets are involved, as this can quickly cause the process to become expensive and lengthy. Lawyers can analyze a person's unique situation and see if alternative methods may help him or her to save both money and time.

It might be possible to avoid the process of probate through cautiously drafting a well-thought-out estate plan. However, estate documents frequently lack the specificity required to immediately dodge the process. Different methods, however, can be employed after a loved one's death to accomplish the same result. These include affidavits of heirship or small estate affidavits.

Other probate process alternatives available to people in Texas include joint accounts or transfer on death -- TOD -- accounts as well as payable on death, or POD, accounts. People may also wish to take advantage of the joint ownership of property, family settlement agreements or revocable living trusts. An attorney can help an individual implement a solution that will yield the best results possible for him or her when dealing with the possibility of probate.

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