Four Factors in Choosing a Texas Probate Attorney


If a family member has died in Texas, “probate” is the start of the legal process of transferring property to the beneficiaries or heirs.  Under Texas Law, you’ll usually need a probate lawyer.  This is especially true if you were named as the executor in a deceased person’s Last Will and Testament.  So, knowing that you may be legally required to hire a probate lawyer in Texas, what factors should you consider?


Factor #1.  The Cost of the Probate Attorney


Texas Probate Attorneys generally cost less than in other states, because other states typically have more difficult probate processes than we have here in Texas.  Probate in Texas is typically straightforward, so the cost of a probate attorney is typically lower than our clients expect.

Call the probate attorney’s law office and ASK what the cost is.  If you call our law office, for example, we’ll simply ask you a few questions and then give you a very good estimate right there over the phone.   No tricks or games. 

The cost of the probate can vary greatly among cases, because lots of Texans die without a will.  The legal process for probate of a person’s estate with no will is very different from the probate process when there is a will.  If the person died with a will, the probate attorney fees are typically much lower.



Factor #2.  What Type of Law Does this Attorney Normally Practice?


In metroplex areas, such as Dallas, you’ll find attorneys practicing nothing but estate planning and probate law.  In small communities, you might be limited to general practice attorneys.  If you can, it’s often best to look to a dedicated probate attorney.

A lawyer focusing on probate law will often cost less, be faster, and give better answers.  This is because the dedicated probate lawyer is only responsible for knowing one set of laws, and he or she typically has a good relationship with the probate judges and the probate court staff.  That specialized knowledge and those good relationships pay tremendous dividends if you need a probate.


I think of it like selecting a doctor.  If you’re having a specific heart problem that requires heart surgery, there are general surgeons capable of handling your surgery?  However, wouldn’t you prefer to use the cardiac surgeon who has performed hundreds or thousands of the exact surgery you need?


Factor #3. Amount of Experience


I vaguely remember being fresh out of law school.  At the time of this writing, that was a decade ago.  Even with a law degree and a license to practice law in Texas, I remember needing to research everything.  I didn’t know all the answers–I had to look them up or ask for help from another probate attorney.  Nowadays, those years of experience help my probate law office deal with sticky situations better. 


An experience probate lawyer may cost more on an hourly basis, though.  So, when you’re selecting a probate attorney in Texas, I wouldn’t make length of experience the sole factor to consider.  A probate attorney who’s been in practice for forty years may give you the “I don’t really want to take your case” price.


Factor #4. Location


The location of your probate attorney is important.  Not so much the proximity to you (we have clients who are executors all over the country!)–the important thing is the attorney’s familiarity with the local probate courts.  Each local probate court has its own systems, its own way of doing things.  There are lots of steps for any probate case in Texas, and those steps are slightly different in every probate court.


For example, even between the Dallas County Probate Courts and the Collin County Probate Court, the differences are massive.  Even though these two counties are literally right beside each other, the probate courts in those respective counties vary greatly.  A probate attorney local to Dallas and Collin County knows the tips and tricks to get your case through the local probate court as quickly as possible.






Free Consultation


To ask a legal question or get legal help from Texas probate lawyer Isaac Shutt, use the online contact form to the right or call (214) 302-8197. If you prefer to meet at the office in person in Richardson, Texas – the attorney will gladly offer a free consultation.


Visit for more information on how to lower probate attorney fees in Texas, probate of a will in Collin County Probate Court, Dallas County Probate Court, Denton County Probate Court or Tarrant County Probate Court, contact Richardson, TX Wills Attorney Isaac Shutt at


Shutt Law Firm’s office is conveniently located just north of Dallas, TX and just South of Plano, Texas. The law office is near the intersection of highway 75 and Campbell Road in Richardson, TX.




You can also call Shutt Law Firm, PLLC, at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this article or to discuss a different legal matter.


Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you want to know how to lower Texas probate attorney fees, more about Texas estate disputes, Texas probate, a Texas Last Will and Testament, or if you need Collin County Estate Attorneys serving Richardson, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Garland, Addison, Rockwall, TX, Collin County, Dallas County, or surrounding North Texas area.




DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this brief article constitutes legal advice. The information provided herein is merely provided in the spirit of education. If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney for your specific legal situation. Further, nothing in this article shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship exists until both you and an attorney of Shutt Law Firm sign an engagement letter with the Shutt Law Firm, PLLC.