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Probate/Probate Alternatives

The death of a loved one is a traumatic event that we all must deal with at one time or another. All too often transferring your loved one’s assets can be just as traumatic and daunting of a process. Let the proven experts help you transition through this most difficult time and help you navigate through the maze that is probate. Whether your loved one died with a will or without a will, Green Law is here to help. We will discuss all of your options and make sure that we make an informed decision as to how to proceed based upon the facts of your situation.

What is Probate?

In plain English, probate is the legal process of changing title of property owned by the deceased.

Which Method is Right for Me?

  • Dependent Administration
    • Default rule in Texas
    • When to use
      • Decedent died without a Will
      • Will fails to name an executor
      • All named executors are unable to act
      • Beneficiaries are unable to agree on an administrator for independent administrator under Section 145 of the Texas Probate Code
    • Pros
      • Greater protection for heirs and beneficiaries
      • Greater protection for administrator
      • Greater protection from creditors
    • Cons
      • More time and expense
      • Court must approve all actions during the probate process
      • Administrator must post bond

  • Independent Administration
    • Texas law allows for minimal court supervision of the executor
    • When to use
      • Decedent’s Will specifies independent administration
      • If not specified, all distributees agree and court approves
      • Decedent dies intestate (without a will) but all heirs agree
    • Pros
      • Faster and cheaper than a dependent administration
      • No need for court to approve actions taken by executor
      • Executor does not have to post bond
    • Cons
      • Less protection from creditors

  • Muniment of Title
    • Provides for streamlined probate process
    • Only method that can be used if more than 4 years have elapsed since the Decedent’s death
    • When to use
      • Decedent had a valid Will;
      • No unpaid debts, except those secured by real estate; AND
      • No Medicaid claim against the estate for recovery of benefits
    • Pros
      • Quickly clear title to property
      • Will serves as deed equivalent to real estate
      • Least costly form of probate
    • Cons
      • No appointment of executor or administrator
      • Potential problems with transferring bank or brokerage accounts
      • Cannot use this method if Decedent died intestate

 

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The information provided herein is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship has been created and we have no obligations to you or your case.

 

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