Closing an estate is a complex process. Surviving family members have many decisions to make and affairs to address, and without instructions left behind by their deceased loved ones, Texas residents can face a difficult estate administration process. However, having an estate plan to follow could help probate go more smoothly.
There are many aspects of an estate plan that can benefit surviving loved ones. First of all, individuals can use their wills to put a person in charge of handling the necessary probate duties. This personal representative will address the various tasks associated with closing the estate, and because the estate plan appoints the person, the court will not have to appoint an administrator. As a result, there may be less chance of conflict.
Another aspect of estate planning that could reduce the possibility of conflict is that individuals can specifically indicate who should receive certain property. Without this information, surviving family may argue over who gets what, and litigation could occur. If no estate plan is in place, state law will dictate to whom property goes, and again, conflict could come about.
For individuals trying to work through the probate process for their deceased loved ones' estates, addressing all the necessary steps can be challenging. Even with estate plans to work from, there may be minute details that can seem confusing. If conflict does arise, the proceedings can become even more difficult. If Texas residents who have been appointed personal representatives worry about how to properly handle the legal proceedings, they may wish to gain legal advocates to help them through the process.
Source: bellinghamherald.com, "Here are seven reasons you want to protect your family with a last will and testament", Cindy Uken, March 22, 2018