Settling a Texas loved one's final affairs can be a complicated and emotional process. Hopefully, the decedent will have left a will behind that can provide useful instructions on how to carry out certain tasks. However, probate will still be necessary in order to close the estate.
Though probate is commonly necessary, not all assets have to go through the process before they can be distributed. In some cases, parties may have had joint property with survivor's rights, which means that the property will pass directly to the surviving joint owner. In other instances, individuals may have had payable-on-death or transferable-on-death accounts that allow them to name beneficiaries to directly receive the assets in those accounts after the account holder's passing.
Of course, most individuals have property that will need to go through the administration process, which begins after the executor of the estate presents the will to the court and receives confirmation that it is a valid document. After this action occurs, the executor can take steps to handle the necessary remaining affairs of the estate, which can include paying remaining debts and numerous other tasks. Though receiving property is often what surviving loved ones are most concerned with, asset distribution is one of the last steps of closing an estate.
Texas executors can have a more difficult time closing estates if the decedent's affairs are complex. Any number of factors could complicate probate proceedings, including a substantial number of assets, many beneficiaries and disputes that may arise during the legal proceedings. Fortunately, legal professionals can help executors ensure that they handle their necessary duties as required.