Probate is the legal process of settling a deceased person’s estate. The probate process may be complex or straightforward, depending on the size of the estate, whether or not the deceased person (decedent) had a will, the location of assets, and other factors.

The probate attorneys at Doré Rothberg understand that no matter the details of the case, heirs and loved ones are dealing with both legal concerns and grief in the aftermath of their loss. We take pride in guiding our clients through this challenging time by offering the legal guidance they need as well as the personal support they deserve.

Probating a Will in Texas

For many families, probate is an unfamiliar and sometimes intimidating process. The good news for Texas residents is that our state offers one of the easiest and most affordable probate systems to navigate if the decedent had a valid will. For this reason, we encourage all adults to make an estate plan and to keep it updated.

After a Texas estate is opened, the probate court for the county in which the decedent last resided appoints a personal representative of the estate. The personal representative, sometimes called an executor or administrator of the estate, is responsible for settling the decedent’s affairs and distributing estate assets. If you need to administer a loved one’s estate, our probate attorneys can advise you, ensuring that you understand your duties and properly complete them.

Our probate attorneys help with:

  • Filing the probate application to open the estate
  • Getting the will (if any) admitted to probate
  • Appointment of a personal representative
  • Notifying creditors and heirs of the probate proceedings
  • Inventorying estate assets and obtaining appraisal of assets
  • Paying the legitimate debts of the estate
  • Filing and payment of income tax on behalf of the estate
  • Distribution of assets according to will or Texas law
  • Probate litigation, including will contests or allegations of executor misconduct
  • Providing a final accounting to the court and closing the estate
  • Probate process for small estates
  • Ancillary probate for out-of-state estates that own real estate in Texas

In certain cases, probate can be avoided through creating a trust, implementing transfer-on-death deeds, or setting beneficiary designations on accounts so they pass outside the probate process. Our estate planning team can help you plan for this prior to the decedent’s death, and advise you on options after death.

Much of the time, it is possible for a surviving spouse or other close family member of the decedent to be appointed “independent administrator” of the estate, allowing them to manage estate business and distribute assets with little or no court involvement. Doré Rothberg can help you find the simplest and most cost-effective probate process for which your loved one’s estate qualifies.

Contact Our Houston and Fort Worth Probate Attorneys

Having to settle a loved one’s estate is never easy, but our probate attorneys can lift much of the burden of the probate process off your shoulders. We are committed to providing sound advice, meticulous work, and responsive service to our clients who are going through the probate process following the death of a family member.

To learn more about Doré Rothberg’s probate services and how we can help you, contact us to schedule a consultation.