Probate When There Is a Will:
If you have been named executor in Texas, the probate process may be simpler and more affordable than you might think. Even traditional probate is relatively inexpensive and hassle-free in Texas. Call (214) 302-8197 to discuss your Texas probate alternatives.
If the Decedent left behind a valid and “self-proved” Texas Will, Shutt Law Firm’s flat-rate legal fee could be much lower than you might expect. Probate attorney Isaac Shutt will provide a free consultation to help you find the best and most affordable probate alternative. The attorney will begin by determining whether or not the Last Will & Testament is valid under Texas law.
In addition, there are also probate alternatives to fit each family’s unique situation. Contact Richardson probate attorney Isaac Shutt to discuss the probate options best for your situation.
Here are some of the most common alternatives to probate when the decedent died with a Will in Texas:
However, the will is admitted as muniment of title only. Also, this is primarily used when there are no debts owing by the estate (other than debts secured by liens on real estate) and no other reason to have a full administration of the estate.
This process provides the applicant with the legal paperwork necessary to disburse the estate’s assets without all the formal requirements of full probate. Probate attorneys often recommend this procedure when the decedent owned only an interest in real estate and perhaps a bank account.
For more information, refer to the Texas Probate Code § 89C.
However, in Texas, it may not be advisable to solely rely on trusts to try to transfer property outside of the probate process. This is for a couple of reasons. First, the probate process in Texas is relatively hassle-free and inexpensive. Probate in Texas is simply not the dreaded ordeal it is for residents of many other states.
Second, even if an individual uses inter vivos trusts to attempt to avoid probate, the individual should absolutely still have a Last Will. That is, it is almost impossible to get ALL of the individual’s property into the trust; he may have forgotten about some property, etc. Plus, the individual still needs to name an executor, describe how he wants the estate’s debts to be paid, name guardians for his minor children (if applicable), make specific bequests, and so forth.
So, since the individual will need a will regardless of the existence of inter vivos trusts, the inter vivos trust just adds a layer of work and expense. Inter vivos trusts can be useful for other estate planning purposes, but, in Texas, the primary reason for a living trust should not be to avoid the transfer of property through the probate process.