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Have you recently lost someone in your family, and now face the difficult journey of settling their affairs? We’re so sorry for your loss. Death is never easy, no matter the circumstances or closeness of the relationship, and when probate – a complex Texas court process that distributes a deceased person’s assets to their beneficiaries – is necessary, then mourning becomes even more burdensome. Our compassionate Pasadena probate lawyer is here to take the legal load off you and handle all of the paperwork so you can focus on moving forward. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how our firm can help!
How Does Probate Work?
When someone passes away, even if they had a will, the will must be certified by the court and the contents carried out by someone who is named as the estate’s executor (this is usually a close surviving family member) under the supervision of the court. If you’ve been named as the executor, you will need to submit the will and the death certificate to the court. Then, you will be responsible for carrying out a number of tasks related to making sure your loved one’s last legal wishes are honored and all of their affairs are settled correctly.
Those tasks include notifying the deceased person’s creditors and heirs that probate is happening, collecting, inventorying, and appraising all of the deceased person’s assets, settling outstanding debts, paying any final taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will. At The Law Office of Michelle E. Murphy, our Pasadena probate lawyer can guide you through all of these steps to the quickest, most efficient resolution.
Can You Avoid Probate?
Probate can be tedious and time-consuming. It requires navigating a lot of paperwork and unfamiliar court procedures, and if you’re the estate executor, the duties mostly fall on your shoulders. Any mistakes – even unintentional ones – can lead to additional court fees (and there are already plenty of those) or even to lawsuits from creditors. You may have disgruntled family members who are unhappy about the way assets are being distributed that you need to deal with. Overall, it’s just something no one wants on their plate.
Unfortunately, unless your loved one had a trust or comprehensive estate plan in place when they passed away, probate probably won’t be something you can skip. There is a simplified version of it that may be an option for you, however. It’s known as a “small estate affidavit”.
If your loved one….
- Didn’t leave a will behind at all, and
- Had property valuing less than $75,000 total (not counting homestead or exempt property)
Then you and all of the other heirs can fill out and sign a form (the small estate affidavit) and present it to the court. When the court approves it, you and the heirs can present it to any party that is holding your deceased loved one’s property (like a bank) and collect the assets. None of the other traditional steps of probate will be necessary. We can help you understand if you can take this route or what your other options may be!
How Our Pasadena Probate Lawyer Can Help You
Probate may not be easy, but working with the right attorney can make it much easier on you! Attorney Michelle E. Murphy has been simplifying the probate process for grieving families in Texas for over 20 years. Her knowledge and kindness can make a difference and save you time, money, and stress. Because it can take months or years to close an estate, it’s important to contact our firm now to schedule a free consultation and discover your next steps.
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Ms. Murphy made sure to use all of her resources and did everything legally possible to help me. She fought harder than other lawyers out there and found ways to make everything work in my favor. I really appreciate how she helped me and made me feel at ease under the worst circumstances. I recommend her highly.
Why Choose Us?
20+ Years Of Experience
Personalized Attorney Attention