Whether or not individuals have a will in place, their estates will likely go through the probate process. There are, of course, ways in which Texas residents may avoid such proceedings, but in many cases, individuals opt to create wills as part of their estate planning process. Wills are subject to probate, and individuals can select their estate administrators. If there is no will in place, a state-appointed administrator will handle the probate process.
When a will is created, individuals can appoint whom they believe is most fit to manage their estate administration. This administrator must carry out the contents of the will. However, disputes pertaining to the contents of a will could still take place, leading to a potentially complicated situation. Nonetheless, creating a will could help distribute assets to individuals that the creator of the will sees fit in the event of his or her demise.
Without a will, the state will handle how pieces of estates are distributed. As a result, individuals' assets may be bequeathed to parties that the deceased individuals may not have intended. Probate proceedings in which there is no will could also become difficult situations as steps are taken to determine which individuals may be rightfully entitled to inheritances.
Though the probate process is necessary when it comes to distributing a will, surviving loved ones may find themselves feeling overwhelmed by the circumstances. Luckily, Texas residents who are facing proceedings or even litigation regarding an estate may be able to find the right avenues to help them navigate these legal waters. Discussing concerns with experienced estate planning attorneys could allow individuals to better understand what to expect from the probate process.
Source: floridatoday.com, "Planning for Privacy and Ease Estate Settlements", Stephen Lacey, June 13, 2016