Probate Law

Settling Estates and Fighting Creditors

Experienced Houston Probate Attorney

Without the right legal advice and representation, the probate process can be both lengthy and expensive for an estate. For this reason, hiring an experienced Houston Probate Attorney is essential for any individual involved in a probate case.

What Is Probate?

Probate is a legal procedure often required after an individual dies. During probate, the deceased person’s will is validated by the court, and the instructions included in the will are carried out.

In most cases, an individual named as the executor in the will is responsible for facilitating this process. However, if no such person is named in the will, or if the person named doesn’t want to serve, the court can appoint someone else to act as the estate's administrator.

Two main types of probate administration are available in Texas: independent and dependent. While independent administration allows the administrator to have more freedom, dependent administration involves a higher level of supervision from the court.

What Happens During Probate?

During probate, all of the deceased individual’s creditors have an opportunity to file claims against the estate. After these claims have been paid, the remaining assets are distributed to heirs designated in the will. If no will exists, these assets will be distributed according to state law.

Certain types of assets don’t need to pass through probate. Examples include life insurance proceeds, bank accounts designated payable-on-death and community property with right of survivorship or beneficiary designations.

Hiring an Attorney

If you have been named as the administrator of a loved one’s will, you may be feeling overwhelmed. However, an experienced probate attorney will be able to help you understand how the probate process works and take the proper steps to resolve the estate as quickly and affordably as possible. Your attorney will also be able to help you make important decisions on the way so you can preserve the integrity of the estate and carry out your loved one’s wishes accurately.

Contact a Probate Attorney in Houston

If you have been named as the executor of an estate, or if you are otherwise in need of probate assistance in Houston, you need to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Please call D. B. Norton, PLLC today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services.