Many Texas residents may worry about the idea of their estates going through probate. However, probate and estate administration do not have to be thought of as scary or something to avoid entirely. True, many individuals may wish to take steps to avoid the process, but for those who do not, estates can be effectively addressed during probate.
With or without a will, an estate heads to probate. If an individual created a will during his or her estate planning, that person likely named an executor to handle the estate administration. Creating a will and appointing an executor may save time during probate as an individual's wishes have already been made known. If a will was not created, then the court will appoint an administrator to follow state law in distributing assets.
Rather than worrying about the probate process itself, individuals may wish to focus on the possibility of probate litigation. In some cases, litigation may take place if heirs or beneficiaries feel the need to dispute a will due to feeling as if they did not receive their fair share. One valid reason for contesting a will would be if loved ones believe the contents of the will were somehow manipulated.
In order to make probate and estate administration seem less intimidating, individuals may wish to find out more information on the process. Questions could be answered as estate plans are made, or surviving family could bring up any concerns they may have after a loved one's death. Experienced Texas estate planning attorneys could provide useful information on the topic of probate, and interested parties may wish to consider conferring with legal professionals.
Source: usnews.com, "Will Your Heirs End Up in Probate Court?", Maryalene LaPonsie, Jan. 27, 2017