Colleyville Probate Attorney
The process of settling a loved one's estate after their death can feel overwhelming and complex. During this time, it is important that you speak with an experienced probate attorney at Mitchell Nachtigal Law. Our probate attorneys can address your concerns and minimize stress by guiding you every step of the way and explaining the probate process. We will prepare all documents, including court pleadings, make court appearances, and we will help you with other duties as your personal representative of the estate.
Working With a Texas Probate Attorney
A deceased person’s assets must be disbursed based on the directions they put forth when they were alive and in a manner that's consistent with state law. A probate attorney will guide the executor of a will or beneficiary of an estate through this complex process. From identifying beneficiaries and estate assets to distributing inheritances and assets, a probate lawyer can be invaluable during this challenging time in their life.
What is a Probate Attorney?
Probate attorneys are state-licensed attorneys who work with the beneficiaries and executors of an estate to settle the affairs of the deceased party. In some cases, probate may be entirely avoided if all the deceased person’s assets have been placed in a trust. Trusts ensure a smoother transfer of property outside of legal proceedings.
Is a Probate Attorney the Same as an Estate Attorney?
Probate attorneys are also referred to as estate attorneys and are involved in many ways depending on the specific circumstances of an estate. Their involvement depends on if the decedent had a will and the value of their assets. In cases where no will exists, a beneficiary can file a claim for what they believe they're entitled to. In situations where a will does exist, challenges can still arise as to the validity of the will.
What Does a Probate Attorney Do?
Here are some of the common tasks a probate attorney can assist the beneficiary or executor with during the probate process:
· Making a final disbursement of assets to a beneficiary after all taxes and bills have been paid
· Transferring assets from the decedent’s name to the appropriate beneficiaries
· Managing the estate’s checking account
· Resolving any income tax issues
· Assisting with a determination of whether inheritance taxes or estate taxes are due and ensuring that those debts are satisfied
· Preparing and filing documents that are required by a probate court
· Helping with the payment of debts and bills
· Obtaining appraisals for the deceased party's real property
· Identifying and securing the estate's assets
· Collecting the proceeds from any life insurance policies
Who Does a Probate Attorney Represent?
Probate attorneys typically either represent the personal representative, a beneficiary of the estate, or the estate itself.
Do I Need a Probate Attorney?
Whether you need a probate attorney can depend on a variety of factors. You'll want to consider things such as:
· How complicated are the beneficiary designations?
· Are there any contentious beneficiary relationships?
· What is the size of the estate?
· Did the decedent have a trust? A will? Or nothing at all?
· What type of estate plan did the deceased party set up?
· How complicated are state laws?
All considerations can play into your decision on whether you need an experienced and knowledgeable probate attorney.
If the decedent had a will, there's not usually a way around it, you will typically to have to handle the probate process. The next logical step is evaluating how complicated the estate is and how difficult probate will be. The more complicated an estate is, the more appealing the idea of hiring a probate attorney will be. If you’re unfamiliar with the probate process, an attorney can provide sound legal guidance.
If the deceased party had a trust in place, then a probate attorney may not be necessary at all. It's possible to handle this type of complex process on your own, but if an estate is big or complicated enough you should consider retaining a probate attorney.
Contact a Colleyville Probate Attorney Today
If you’re involved in the probate process following the death of a loved one, you likely feel overwhelmed and confused by these responsibilities and have many questions regarding how to proceed. To ensure you reach the best resolution to your case, contact the experienced and knowledgeable probate attorneys at Mitchell Nachtigal Law. When you work with our firm during probate, we will carefully consider your unique circumstances to develop a strategic approach that will deliver optimal results. When you meet with us, we will provide an honest assessment that will help you determine the best way to proceed. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to learn how the probate attorneys at Mitchell Nachtigal Law can help you through this challenging time.