Probate is usually associated with the process of giving legal significance to the last will and testament of a deceased person, but it does not necessarily have to involve a will. A decedent’s property may pass by a will or trust but, in cases where a person dies without leaving a will or established trust, Texas law provides guidelines for how the property will be distributed.
The term "estate planning" refers to the process of organizing distribution of property to intended beneficiaries and tax planning. In some cases, it also applies to directing how life insurance will be paid. When a person does estate planning they will usually execute a will, and possibly establish trusts. They will also purchase life insurance to help give effect to the plan.
Our law firm has experienced lawyers who can help you with estate planning. They will provide the legal documentation and structure for an orderly and cost effective distribution of property at death. They will also guide and advise the family or executor in the probate process following the death of a loved one.
Contrary to what many may say, the process of probate is only as complicated and expensive as the decedent's estate requires. If plans have been made in advance, then the administration of the estate is made simple and efficient, and it can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time. If, on the other hand, a person neglects to plan in advance for their death, then the administration of the estate can be complicated, inefficient, costly, and time consuming.
Even if a person has substantial property, the administration of the estate can be made relatively simple by proper prior planning. Conversely, a relatively modest estate can be very costly in terms of time, money, and aggravation if no prior planning is in place.
Our commitment to our clients is to make the process of probate as simple, inexpensive, efficient, and short as it can possibly be, but we can only work with matters as they stand at the moment of death. We recommend that you take the time and invest the relatively modest sum it takes to properly plan your estate. This effort and investment is what makes the whole process of probate easy. The lack of planning is what makes probate hard.
The initial consultation regarding either the planning or probate of an estate is free. In this consultation, we will attempt to provide you with our best estimate of both the time and expense involved in the engagement. Thereafter, if you chose to engage us to represent you, we would enter into an engagement agreement that would fully disclose all of the particulars regarding the anticipated engagement, to the extent that such matters can be predicted.
Estate planning may not be the happiest topic to discuss, but planning ahead will make a world of difference for you and your family. We’re confident that you’ll feel more at ease once you speak with our team and learn what we can do for you. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact The Law Office of Dan E. Martens today to schedule your consultation.