You would not typically have to go through probate in Texas for estates worth less than $75,000. This is good news for people who qualify, as the loss of a loved one is devastating enough without adding the potential stress of the often-complex probate process. However, even if the value of the estate is under the limit, you may still need to do some legal work in order to make sure that you transfer the assets properly and incur the minimum tax penalty.
While some estates may be somewhat easy and straight-forward to settle, others might be more complicated. Estates that are forced to go through the probate process are often more difficult to handle, and require the assistance of an estate administrator. Some people appoint an estate administrator in their last will and testament; however, an administrator may be appointed by the court if one is not named. It is important to understand what the administrator does in the probate process so the right person may be selected for the job.
Even when things move forward smoothly, the probate process can be challenging. However, it can be especially complicated to work through this process in certain instances, such as when a dispute arises. There are many reasons why probate disputes surface and we will explore some of them in this blog post. If you find yourself in the middle of a dispute, whether you are in charge of a loved one's estate or you are a beneficiary, it is pivotal to understand your options and try to resolve the dispute properly.
The probate process can present various challenges, but the impact of a dispute can be especially difficult for families. Unfortunately, these disagreements often lead to hostility among family members, and in certain circumstances, they can amplify existing challenges within a family. For example, a longstanding sibling rivalry may be magnified when a probate dispute surfaces. Even when siblings have maintained healthy relationships for decades, these relationships can be strained or even shattered when a dispute over a loved one's estate comes into the picture.
There are many different options you can take in Texas to plan what will happen with your assets when you die. Your estate planning efforts may include something called a living trust, which Forbes explains is just any trust you create when you are alive. This is the opposite of the type of trust created when you have a will. Upon your death, a will sends your assets into a trust that your executor then handles.
Some people may think that because they don't have many assets, they may as well forgo the process of writing a will. However, if you have any assets that are not covered in a will, it becomes the job of the Texas probate court to distribute those according to the intestate succession laws. These override any wishes you have unless you have an official estate plan.
Talk about probate is very common when discussing wills or after someone passes away in Texas. This process is not as understood as it should be, though. You may not truly understand what it means, which could lead to confusion down the road. Understanding this term can help you to better plan your own estate and handles the estates when loved ones die.
Perhaps you are leery of having your Texas estate go through probate after your death. At Doehring & Doehring Attorneys at Law, we understand the nuances of probate, and often advise our clients of their options for minimizing the time and expense of this process.