First of all, if you find yourself here investigating what to do after a loved one passed away and had a Will, we sincerelyPaper labeled probate and gavel representing Wichita Falls and Dallas probates apologize for your loss. Losing a loved one is never easy, and it’s certainly not great to have to deal with the legal process while you are in the middle of grieving. With that being said, we will provide you with a brief, general overview of what to do when a loved one has passed away and had a Will in Wichita Falls, Dallas, or elsewhere in Texas or Oklahoma.

  • Obtain multiple copies of the death certificate. These will be required by most institutions such as banks, investment companies, attorneys, etc. to prove the person is really deceased. Death certificates can typically be obtained from the health department.
  • Notify the necessary parties. Notify the deceased family members as well as any entity with a financial interest of the deceased’s passing.  
  • Consult with an attorney. If there was a Will, there is a good chance it needs to go through probate court. Probate can be a complicated and time-consuming process, so it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney before you move forward.
  • Open a probate proceeding. The Will should have named an Executor, who can open probate proceedings with the court. By doing this, it will begin the process of asset accounting and distribution.
  • Determine non-probate assets. Some assets are exempt from probate including retirement accounts and assets in Trusts.

Generally speaking, the process is fairly straight forward, but it can get more complicated depending on the size and complexity of the estate and those involved. Additionally, different states have different standards and procedures, so it’s always important to look at the specific state’s laws.

If a loved one has passed away in Wichita Falls, Dallas, or elsewhere in Texas or Oklahoma and they had a Will, contact us today by filling out our contact form or calling one of our offices. For Wichita Falls probates, contact us at 940-569-4000. For Dallas probates, contact us at 945-295-0014. We will give you a free evaluation of your case and offer you helpful information on how to proceed.