Streamlined Estate Administration
Upon the death of a family member or beloved close friend, fulfilling the role of executor or personal representative of the estate can seem overwhelmingly daunting at the outset. At The Law Office of L. Taylor McPherson, we offer an organized and structured approach to this difficult task beginning with the opening of the estate to the final beneficiary distribution.
Whether the deceased left behind a will or died without one, our office will work to ensure the estate and its assets are handled properly and within the confines of Texas law.
From there, we help our clients determine the foundational questions in any probate matter, which include:
- Identifying beneficiaries or heirs
- Determining what the Estate is comprised of; and
- What type of Probate process is best suited those specific circumstances.
Testament or Intestacy?
When meeting with any new probate client, our first question always involves whether the deceased person had a last will and testament at the time of death. If so, we will begin the process of reviewing the contents of the will, ensuring formalities were met, and instructing the client on “opening the estate” with the Probate Court.
If the decedent died without a will, the will cannot be located, or the will is invalid under Texas law, the estate will pass through the Texas laws of intestacy, which provide a statutory framework for the distribution of estate assets.
Evaluating an Estate
The size of the decedent’s estate will make a significant difference in the procedural matters involved in probate representation. Larger, more complex estates will generally involve more legwork, including independent appraisals of real and personal property or valuations of business assets. Larger estates also invite a higher risk of contest by beneficiaries, including objections to any recent amendments made to the estate plan, or the validity of disinheritance.
By contrast, a small estate will require less time and effort, and families can actually arrange for the distribution of assets outside of the probate court process by filing a Small Estate Affidavit. For estates valued at $50,000 or less, our office can help prepare the paperwork necessary to forgo the lengthy probate process provided the decedent died without a will.
Likewise, our office can offer assistance to representatives of estates in preparing a Muniment of Title. A Muniment of Title is a concept unique to Texas, whereby estates comprised solely of real estate can avoid the need to have a full probate administration. This is available only when the Decedent has left a Will.
Probate Representation in Tarrant County
Probate matters often seem straightforward at the outset, only to quickly unravel as the matter progresses. To avoid this result, be sure to contact the Law Office of L. Taylor McPherson right away. To schedule a consultation, call 817-502-1144, or contact us online.