Texas families often have many duties and arrangements to attend to after the death of a loved one. Probate proceedings can encompass many tasks that individuals must handle in order for a deceased family member’s estate to close as it is supposed to close. However, whether the decedent created an estate plan could have a considerable impact on how smoothly those proceedings go.

If a person creates a will before death, he or she will die testate. As a result, many of their probate-related affairs will likely be in order. A will can indicate who the person wanted as executor and how assets should be distributed. The probate process is still necessary in order for the court to ensure that the document is valid.

A more complicated situation could arise if a person dies intestate, or without a valid will or other estate-planning documents. In this case, the court would appoint a personal representative to handle estate affairs, and assets would be distributed by state law. As a result, surviving family members may not receive the assets they desired or that they thought their loved one may have wanted them to have. Additionally, conflicts could lead to probate litigation.

If a loved one died without an estate plan, surviving family may face many complications during the probate process. These complications may take time to overcome, but they do not have to seem impossible. Texas residents could seek assistance from knowledgeable legal professionals if they feel it could help them through the process. Additional information on probate proceedings may also prove useful.

Source: tulsaworld.com, “Legal Perspective: Where will your things go when you die?“, Brandy Robles Winters, Dec. 12, 2017