Pearland, TX Probate Lawyer

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If you are here because you have lost a loved one, let us first offer our condolences. Death is devastating, and we understand how your pain can be compounded by legal processes that might seem pointless or soulless during this time of grief. If you are left confused about the legalities surrounding the estate of your loved one, you are going to want the assistance of an experienced Pearland probate lawyer to guide you through the motions and explore your options. 

The Law Office of Michelle E. Murphy offers compassionate guidance through the probate process. We take the time to get to know you and your needs and empower you to make informed decisions. Schedule a free consultation and learn more about the assistance we can offer you during this difficult time.

Pearland Probate Lawyer

What Is Probate?

Probate is the legal process by which assets of a deceased individual are distributed to their beneficiaries. One misconception about probate is that an estate will not have to go through probate if there is a will in place. Since a will has to also be validated by the probate process, this conception is not necessarily true. 

There are several steps to probate, and they will not always be exactly the same for each case, but they will generally look something like this: 

  1. The will is submitted to the probate court to be validated and begin the probate process
  2. Notify creditors and beneficiaries 
  3. Inventory debt and assets of the estate
  4. Distribute assets and pay off any debts
  5. File and pay taxes
  6. Close the estate

The person named executor of the will is responsible for overseeing these tasks. If a person has died intestate, meaning they have left no will behind, the state of Texas will overtake responsibility for distribution of the estate, which includes naming an executor.

Types Of Probate

In Texas, there are four main types of probate, one of which will govern how your loved one’s affairs are settled. Which one will be relevant to you will depend on a number of different circumstances–and there is some legal wiggle room–but here are the options that you can expect: 

  1. Independent administration: This is the most common type of probate. Independent administration depends on either the presence of a will that names an executor OR has the mutual agreement of all the beneficiaries. This type of probate has little court oversight.
  1. Dependent administration: If the deceased has not left a will and the family cannot agree on the distribution of assets, dependent administration will be the procedure. This type of probate will have a lot of court oversight, which means it will be more complex and expensive.
  1. Muniment of title: This is an expedited form of probate in which a will exists without unpaid debts or Medicaid claims. In this form of probate, the court does not appoint an executor and instead allows the will to speak for itself. 
  1. Small estate affidavit: In a case of property inheritance with total assets amount to less than $75,000, the beneficiary can submit a sworn statement to bypass traditional probate. 

Our experienced Pearland probate lawyer can help you navigate whichever version of probate is most relevant to your affairs. However, if you are thinking of trying to navigate probate without the help of an attorney, it is best to understand what challenges are inherent to the probate procedure. 

Drawbacks Of Probate

Probate is a complicated process and doesn’t tend to endear itself to the people who have to deal with it. In addition to the grief you are suffering over the loss of a loved one, here are some of the drawbacks you can expect from probate:

  • Probate is expensive. In worst case scenarios, it can drain much of the wealth designated for the beneficiaries. 
  • Probate is time consuming. In Texas, it can last anywhere from six months to a year. 
  • Probate comes with liability risks, particularly for the executor who must pay high costs and adhere to complex legal procedures.
  • Probate can cause familial drama, particularly in the absence of a will. 

When you are dealing with probate, a seasoned Pearland probate lawyer like Michelle E. Murphy is essential to help navigate and mitigate all of these drawbacks. 

How A Pearland Probate Lawyer Can Help You

Michelle E. Murphy has over 20 years of experience guiding grieving families through the probate process. Her knowledge and passion for advocating for families means that she knows how to achieve the best outcomes for your situation. You can count on her for compassionate support and peace of mind through this trying time. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation and learn about how she can advocate for you in the probate process. 

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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.


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