Probate is the legal process by which a court oversees the management and distribution of an individual’s assets after they die. To begin a probate proceeding, someone has to file an application or petition for probate with the probate court. Next, an individual will be appointed as representative of the estate and will have to notify all potential beneficiaries or heirs of the estate, identify and inventory all assets of the estate, identify and satisfies all debts of the estate, and then distribute the remaining assets to the deceased’s beneficiaries or heirs. This entire process is overseen by the probate court and there are a lot of requirements, deadlines, and intricacies that come along with the process in order to get it done effectively. An experienced Wichita Falls probate attorney knows the proper steps of probate and can get it done for you efficiently.
If the individual who passed away had a will, the probate court will make sure the will is authentic and then officially appoint the executor named in the will as the official representative of the estate to move forward with the remaining steps. However, if the individual who passed away did not have a will, the process becomes more complicated because there isn’t a document in place stating the deceased’s final wishes. Therefore, it is up to the courts to make all those important decisions for you. This type of situation highlights why it is important for everyone to have an estate plan, even if it is just a simple will and powers of attorneys. If you don’t want the state stepping in your place and making those important decisions for you, you should contact a Wichita Falls estate planning attorney to get started making an estate plan right away. We can provide you with a free evaluation of your situation and inform you of all your options.
Probate can last anywhere from a few weeks to years. It all depends on the complexities of the estate. If you have recently lost a loved one and are needing guidance on how to proceed, contact our Wichita Falls probate attorney today at 940-569-4000 or fill out our contact form to set up a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. We will give you a free evaluation of your situation and provide you with the guidance and support you need to move forward.