Wills and Probate Attorney in Carrollton, Texas

While living, it is important to make a will so that loved ones left behind know exactly what your wishes are pertaining to the distribution of real estate, automobiles, jewelry, artwork, insurance policies, stocks and bonds, and other personal property. A will is also used to appoint an executor or representative of the estate, forgive debts, and establish property management for younger beneficiaries.

Without a will, upon death the state will decide how your property and assets are distributed, not the family. Prior to any distribution to the closest family members, including a spouse, children, parents, and siblings, debt owed by your estate is paid. 

Seeking Legal Assistance for a Will

Even if your estate is simple and small, it is in your best interest to create a will. This ensures that nothing is overlooked and that every decision is legally binding. When you work with Dan L. Claiborne , each step of the process is explained in detail.

With a will, you can appoint a guardian for any minor children. The court will assess the situation and consider your choice of guardianship. However, the person who will do the best job for the children is ultimately appointed. If the other parent is living, the court will first determine if that person is fit before granting guardianship.

Named in the will is an executor or personal representative. If no one is named, the state will appoint an estate administrator. In this role, the executor, representative, or administrator is mandated to follow specific state laws in wrapping up your affairs. These duties include:

  • Providing parties with proper notice
  • Receiving, paying, and disputing claims against the estate
  • Collecting your property
  • Selling estate property as deemed necessary
  • Distributing estate property based on the will or Texas state law

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Understanding Probate

Probate is a court process whereby things pertaining to your estate are finalized. Probate is a way for the state to ensure that all debt and tax obligations are handled, and that property from the estate is distributed to the parties listed in the will. 

After death, your estate will go through probate by default, whether you have a will or not. With a valid will, probate will determine how your estate is transferred during the probate period and to whom the property is distributed. If you were to pass away without having a valid will or partially intestate, meaning that only a portion of the estate is covered under a valid will, the laws of your state will determine who receives different portions of the estate.

With careful planning, the amount of time the estate remains in probate can be minimized or perhaps avoided completely. If you want to keep your estate out of probate after death, there are other methods for transferring property and assets besides a will. For this, Dan can assist you with property ownership with rights of survivorship, transfer-on-death designation or deed, or living trust.

Contact a Wills and Probate Attorney in Carrollton, Texas

Contact the Dan L. Claiborne in Carrollton, Texas if you are interested in creating a new will or making changes to an existing will. You are always welcomed to contact the office for a consultation.