Probate Attorneys in Waco Assisting Clients with the Probate Process
Probate is the process by which a deceased person’s will is administered. In other words, it is how a signed, and valid will becomes enforceable. While there are several reasons for the existence of the probate process, its significant goal is to oversee these elements of estate administration:
- To verify the will’s authenticity
- To transfer assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries
- To satisfy outstanding debts
- To allow time for any legitimate challenges to the decedent’s final wishes or the estate administration process
For these reasons, a lawful process (often differing by state) called “probate” exists. Probate is a necessary safeguard to avoid improper administration of an estate.
Probate falls mainly in the jurisdiction of the county where the decedent resided or owned property, and therefore the process can vary greatly.
What is a Probate Lawyer?
The job of the probate lawyer is to enter the estate into probate, to assist the client in the process of being appointed executor, and then assist the executor with estate administration. When the decedent passes, the probate lawyer assists the estate executor in disseminating the decedent’s assets, amongst other responsibilities.
A probate lawyer’s primary responsibility following the decedent’s death is acting as a legal guide to the executor or communicating legalities to the beneficiaries through the probate administration process. In the absence of a valid will, the probate attorney, and subsequently the estate administrator, become bound by state intestate laws regarding property distribution.
Probate Process Breakdown
To better understand the need for a probate lawyer, you should have a grasp on the intricacies of the probate process itself:
The Application and Appointment
If there is a will, the named executor or representatives must file the will and a corresponding application with the probate court, requesting an estate be opened as the appropriate probate type.
- There is filing and documentation that must take place before a hearing.
- A hearing may need to take place in order for the distribution to be approved or for the executor or administrator to be appointed.
Property Accounting and Evaluation
- A thorough accounting of the estate must take place in order to determine the proper distribution. Often, this is the job of the executor or administrator.
Paying Debts and Taxes
- Next, creditors can allege any claim or stake they may have in the decedent’s estate or assets to collect what is owed to them. The creditors may collect payment for the liquid assets. If no liquid assets remain, the executor may be required to liquidate what can be lawfully sold.
- Assets are distributed to named beneficiaries by decree of the decedent’s last will.
- If there is no will, predetermined frameworks in local law determine the distribution of assets.
How Can a Probate Lawyer Help?
A probate lawyer’s job assisting the estate administrator or executor is detailed and arduous. Still, at Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law, LP, we are proud to perform such tasks for our clients. Our skilled probate lawyers will guide you through the process by determining what form of probate is most efficient and cost-effective to access the estate. They will also assist you with all paperwork required by the court, following rules and due dates set by the local statutes, and transferring assets out of the estate to the beneficiaries.
Contact Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law, LP Today
When it’s time to navigate the tumultuous waters of estate administration and probate, you want to ensure that you have an honorable, compassionate, and knowledgeable first mate. The experienced probate team at Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law, LP, is ready to help. Call and schedule an appointment today at (254) 457-5083.