The death of a loved one is always a difficult experience, and it may be even more challenging when you need to deal with the intricacies of a deceased family member’s estate. If you are in this situation, you can seek the assistance of Forney probate lawyer David A. Asbill. He is committed to providing thoughtful, comprehensive, and personalized representation, protecting the interests of his clients at every step of the process. Mr. Asbill also serves Kaufman County residents who need a family law attorney or guidance in a personal injury case, a consumer claim, or a business dispute.Protecting Your Rights During Probate
An estate in Texas refers to all of the assets owned by a person at the time of their death, including real estate, stocks, bonds, life insurance, retirement accounts, and motor vehicles. The probate of a person’s estate denotes the process through which a court recognizes the person’s death and authorizes the administration of that person’s estate. The probate process unfolds when someone dies leaving a will as well as when someone dies without a will.
When someone dies with a valid will, it typically designates an individual to be the executor of the estate. After the decedent’s death, the named executor is the person responsible for filing the will for probate and requesting that the court appoint him or her to represent the estate’s interests. The executor has a number of obligations, including identifying the decedent’s assets, paying debts, paying taxes, prosecuting claims owed to the estate, and accurately distributing the assets of the estate at the end of the probate process. Executors typically have considerable discretion and decision-making power in terms of carrying out their responsibilities.
When someone dies without a will, also known as “intestate,” Texas has default rules that apply. In these cases, the law requires a dependent probate administration. The court supervises the administrator of the estate throughout the probate process. The administrator, unlike the executor, does not have much discretion and must obtain the court’s approval for virtually all of the decisions made in the probate process. Under Texas intestacy laws, a decedent’s assets will be distributed according to the criteria described in the probate code. For example, on the intestate death of one spouse in a marriage, the community property estate of the deceased spouse goes to the surviving spouse if there are no children or other descendants of the deceased spouse, or if all of the surviving children and descendants of the deceased spouse are also children or descendants of the surviving spouse.
A guardianship refers to a court-supervised administration for a minor under the age of 18 or an incapacitated adult, either of which is known as a ward in this context. Under Texas law, there are two types of guardianships: a guardianship of the person and a guardianship of the estate. The former denotes a guardian appointed by the court to take care of the ward’s physical well being, while the latter refers to a guardian appointed by the court to manage the ward’s financial affairs. It is important to note that Texas law establishes a priority list for who may serve as a guardian for a minor child or an incapacitated adult.
When it comes to aging parents and family members, it is important to talk about as many issues as possible in the event of death or incapacitation. A power of attorney may help answer a number of questions. The Texas Legislature has created two types of powers of attorney: a medical power of attorney and a statutory durable power of attorney. A medical power of attorney permits you to designate a family member or friend to make medical decisions in the event that you cannot make them. A statutory durable power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make important financial decisions for you in the event that you cannot make them. The advantage of creating powers of attorney is that you can make your wishes known and avoid a court-ordered guardianship in the event of your incapacitation.Consult a Probate Lawyer in the Forney Area
Probate is often a daunting and complex process, which is why it is critical to have a knowledgeable Forney probate attorney on your side. At the Law Firm of David A. Asbill, we value our clients’ time and money, and we aim to resolve each case as efficiently and effectively as possible. We represent people throughout Kaufman County, as well as in Rockwall County and surrounding areas. Call us at 972-564-2050 or contact us online to set up an appointment. David A. Asbill also can assist accident victims who need a personal injury attorney or guidance in a divorce matter or in consumer and commercial litigation.