Probate court can be a lengthy process. Find help from an experienced probate attorney in Houston to get back to your life.
When most people hear the word probate, they immediately think of a drawn out court process and a headache. But if you prepare in advance, there’s a better chance your probate process will be painless.
Not every estate needs to go through probate. Find out whether yours does, and how to make it through the process when you reach out to a respected Houston probate attorney at The Curry Law Firm.
Below, we go into further detail about what happens in probate court and how you can help your family avoid probate after you die.
What Is Probate Court in Houston?
In Texas, probate is the process of recognizing a person’s death. The court oversees the decedent’s estate, including how assets and property are distributed and how the decedent’s debts are paid. Under the law, if you have an existing will, the executor of your estate will file for probate.
Generally, they will have four years from your death to file for probate. If probate is not filed within this time, the laws of intestacy will apply. This is legal jargon for how estates without wills are handled.
The easiest probate cases can be resolved in as few as six months. The probate steps are fairly simple:
But the more complicated estates, and those that are contested, can draw out the process to a year or longer. A probate lawyer can help you through these steps and work to try to get your case through probate as quickly as possible.
How to Avoid Probate in Houston
It is true that probate is a requirement in Texas. But there are several ways you can protect some of your assets. Although you can’t avoid probate altogether, you can protect specific assets from having to go through probate.
For example, you could create a living trust. Almost any type of asset can be a part of a living trust. You would assign someone to take over ownership (the trustee) of a specific asset upon your death. Then, when you die, the asset will be in control of your trustee and can be transferred to trust beneficiaries without having to go through probate.
Other ways you could avoid assets having to go through probate include:
Transfer-on-death registration for vehicles
Transfer-on-death deeds for real estate
Survivorship community property
Payable-on-death designations for bank accounts
Contact a Probate Attorney in Houston
If your family lost a loved one and you need to put their will through probate, a Houston probate attorney could help. We can also assist in helping you plan your estate accordingly to help your family avoid having to go through probate upon your passing.
Get help when you call The Curry Law Firm at 713-678-0013 to schedule your no-risk consultation. Or, fill out our online contact form below to get started on your probate process.