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Guidance for probate issues and alternatives to probate

Probate can be a complex issue for Texans whether they have significant assets, they are middle class or have limited amounts in their portfolio. Regardless of the person's standing in society, the probate process can be confusing and difficult to navigate. This is even before getting into the possibility of there being a probate dispute.

A court battle can make any situation worse and a legal dispute can tear families apart. Since probate is often troublesome, people might be interested in considering alternatives to the process. There are several choices that can be used in lieu of probate. They include small estate affidavits, transfer on death (TOD) accounts or joint accounts, affidavits of heirship, payable on death (POD) accounts, revocable living trusts, family settlement agreement, and joint property of ownership.

These are obviously not alternatives that a layperson will be familiar with. For that, it is essential to have legal help. With probate and estates, there are so many different matters that must be sifted through that it can be overwhelming. The value of the estate must be determined, beneficiaries must be identified, debts must be settled, property must be distributed, real estate titles must be cleared and more. If there are disagreements among the beneficiaries, it adds another wrench into the process.

No matter the situation, a person formulating a plan for the future will undoubtedly want to leave a smooth and clear path for the heirs after he or she is gone. In certain situations, that includes finding ways to avoid having to deal with probate. Depending on the case, there are numerous ways in which probate issues can be handled. Whether there is probate litigation or the need to find different strategies, the one constant is that legal assistance is essential. Failing to adhere to the law and have guidance can make matters worse no matter the intentions.

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