Most Texas residents only have to go through probate proceedings once or twice in their lifetime. As a result, the process tends to be mysterious and difficult to understand for the average person -- because most people do not have a lot of experience with it. Even if a Texas estate is a relatively simple one, and regardless one's experience with such proceedings, the probate process can quickly become overwhelming.
Probate proceedings are supervised by a court, which presides over how a deceased individual's assets will be distributed to heirs. During the process, the court will assign a person to supervise the administration of the estate. Usually, the more valuable the estate, the more complicated the asset division process may be. Texas estates that involve multiple retirement accounts with a lot of different investments, estates that involve family businesses and estates that involve investment property and/or multiple homes can be the most complex to divide.
While being guided through the process by their estate administration attorneys, Texas heirs can expect to go through the various stages of probate. These include will validation, valuation of an estate, identifying beneficiaries and paying off debts and taxes. The process ultimately results in the distribution of property to heirs.
The Texas probate process can be particularly difficult if family members and/or other potential heirs get into an argument over the distribution of assets. In such cases, a probate attorney can be helpful in representing a particular family member's wishes in order to preserve his or her legal rights. Ultimately, heirs can rest assured that the court will always strive to distribute assets in the way that the decedent intended and in the fairest way possible. The Law Office of Sharon C. Stodghill has extensive experience dealing with Texas courts in all manner of probate litigation proceedings, and we are available to help you with all your estate administration needs.