PROBATE ATTORNEY

214.843.1751

Jac knows contested probate & explains it well so you can understand. He knows how to protect you & your assets.

Private Client

Jac Schuster is the best probate attorney I ever met he stays in contact with his clients he is always on top of his cases and he makes sure his clients needs come first I highly recommend this attorney

Private Client

 


FREE CONSULTATION

We have the experience to make this doable. We work hard at calming the storm of probate if there is a battle. Protecting the assets from unnecessary waste. Protecting you so you get the inheritance that was intended.
Whether it’s resolving a trust situation, a huge million dollar probate battle, or simply need to get a car or house taken care of — we are here to help!


Call me!

I am here to help.

Pick up your phone and call, or Chat with the team.

  • Years of experience,

  • Talk directly to your lawyer (me!) during your case, not a receptionist or a paralegal.

As we work together on your probate, you will have my personal phone number in case you have any questions.

What is Probate?

If you have:

– Lost someone near and dear, been named as executor, and need to know what to do next

– Inherited and need advice

– Are getting calls from creditors regarding someone deceased

– Have a simple easy estate to complete but are required to have a lawyer (no one beats our customer service!)

Perhaps you are in one of the following situations:

– The family and other heirs are fighting and you need protection!

– You have no money except the inheritance you are owed (a contingent fee arrangement may be available)

– You are a Real Estate agent and need help closing a deal because it is stuck in probate!

Types of Probate in Texas


If the Deceased had No Will:

Affidavit of Heirship

Use it when:

  • No Will,
  • No debts,
  • Real Estate to transfer

An affidavit is a written statement that is notarized of facts that you know such as facts about your family. The Affidavit of Heirship is basically a listing of all the information you know about the person that died including residence at death, day of death, place of death, marital history, children, brothers, sisters, parents and even nephews. It is basically like a family tree of the Deceased. The person making the affidavit must not be an heir that inherits anything, such as a neighbor or friend. You must file it with the county clerk against the real estate you are filing.  The deceased must not have any debts.

Small Estate Affidavit

Use it when:

  • No Will,
  • No debts,
  • Only Personal Property to transfer

A Small Estate Affidavit is often used when a spouse or family member has passed. The Affidavit allows you to fast track the resolution of an estate through probate court. It’s a good way to help you resolve final estate matters for a deceased person who died without a will and with a “small estate” which means less than $50,000. It cannot be used for real estate.

Determination of Heirship (No Administration)

Use it when:

  • No Will,
  • No Debts,
  • Unknown heirs,
  • Heirs are fighting,
  • Need to transfer real estate or investment accounts

You can go to court and start a proceeding to determine heirship when a person dies without a will, owning real or personal property in Texas, and there has been no administration of his estate. A court in the county in which the decedent’s property is located, may determine and declare who are the heirs of the decedent and make a determination of their respective interests in the decedent’s estate.  The court hires a lawyer of its own to check that any other heirs exist that no one knew about, this is referred to as an ad litem attorney.  An administration may be necessary, this means someone must be appointed to act as administrator to pay debts or otherwise deal with the estate.

Determination of Heirship (Administration needed)

Use it when:

  • No Will,
  • Debts,
  • Perhaps need to collect assets,
  • get control of assets,
  • Heirs fighting,
  • Need to transfer real estate or investment accounts

You can go to court and start a proceeding to determine heirship when a person dies without a will, owning real or personal property in Texas, and there has been no administration of his estate. A court in the county in which the decedent’s property is located, may determine and declare who are the heirs of the decedent and make a determination of their respective interests in the decedent’s estate.  The court hires a lawyer of its own to check that any other heirs exist that no one knew about, this is referred to as an ad litem attorney.  An administration may be necessary, this means someone must be appointed to act as administrator to pay debts or otherwise deal with the estate. Administration (if needed) would typically require hourly legal costs since it cannot be predicted how long the administration must take.

If the Deceased had a Will:

Muniment of Title

Use it when:

  • Will,
  • No unsecured debts (mortgage doesn’t count),
  • Real estate to transfer

Probating a will as a muniment of title is the fastest, most affordable way to probate a will in Texas. A muniment of title will allow the transfer of estate property to the beneficiaries named in the decedent’s will without the need for estate administration.  Best if there are no debts, and we simply need to transfer a house for example.  You file the muniment with the county deed records — from the Latin word munimentum, it means written evidence of title to the property. (I thought you might need to know)

Independent Administration

Use it when:

  • Will,
  • need letters testamentary to take control of assets such as bank or investment accounts,
  • debts If there is a will
  • we simply must have an executor

This means we go to court and get an executor approved to pay debts, gather assets and so on.  The word independent means the executor can make most, if not all, decisions without court approval.  This is arguably the most common. Independent Administration

Dependent Administration

Use it when:

  • Will,
  • need letters testamentary to take control of assets such as bank or investment accounts,
  • debts,
  • Judge feels there is a risk and wants to control the process to protect debtors and heirs.

If there is a will and we simply must have an executor to deal with the estate, then the court requires an administration.  This means we go to court and get an executor approved to pay debts, gather assets and so on.  Comparing to independent administration, the word dependent here means the executor must have court approval for everything.  This one can protect the executor, can push any disputes to the responsibility of the judge to referee, but is very expensive as it requires a court appearance and annual inventories.  Therefore the costs here do not include the hourly rate going forward after it is setup.

Contested Probate.

If a probate becomes contested, meaning everyone starts fighting and hiring lawyers, then we would have to work for you on an hourly basis. – Attorney’s Fees (per hour)  $250/hr – Paralegal’s Fees (per hour) $100/hr Initial retainer amount depends on the situation!

CONTINGENT PROBATE

How would you like your probate to be free?  Yes, a FREE PROBATE! Well, close, our firm does require you to pay the filing fees, but all Attorney fees are replaced by a percentage of the estate.  The most risky probates require a 40% level, and down to 25% if there is little risk.  If there is no contest and the risk is almost nothing, discuss it with me and I may be able to go lower depending on circumstances.

 

Questions and Answers about Probate

Do you represent someone being denied their inheritance?

YES!

Our firm has experience in probate litigation. We charge an hourly fee of $300 for litigating battles over the inheritance. There is no way to know how long the battle may last. A non-refundable initial retainer of $3,000 is required. You would have to replenish the retainer when it is exhausted. Call for a free consultation.
If the estate is worth more than $50,000, the case may qualify for a contingent fee arrangement. You would be responsible for court costs of around $300 or more, but the attorney fees are covered by a portion of the proceeds if we win the case. No cost if we do not win other than court costs.
Call and arrange for a free consultation with the attorney to discuss your situation.

Do you represent someone without any way of paying?

YES!

If the estate is worth more than $50,000, you may qualify for a contingent fee arrangement. Call for a free discussion with the attorney. This is commonly referred to as a contingent fee agreement with the attorney where the attorney is paid a percentage of the estate as payment for services.

 

Do you help people from out of state who have property in Texas and need a probate?

YES!

Yes, we have experience in these cases — both cases with a fight or without a fight. In fact, there is a chance you may not need to travel to Texas at all. We can handle the real estate transfers for you without fuss.

 

THOUGHTS

  • I FOCUS ON CONTESTED PROBATE.
  • I PROVIDE VERY COMPETITIVE PRICING ON UNCONTESTED PROBATE. If you just need a house transferred for example.
  • I DO NOT CHARGE FOR QUESTIONS!  If you are price shopping among other attorneys keep this in mind, even during contested long-term probates, I try my best to avoid charging for phone calls and texts, as long as you keep it reasonable!

Enjoy our Articles!

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Here is what you do when the family has lost someone.

This is tailored a bit for Texas:

1. Get a Lawyer’s opinion. As soon as possible, get a lawyer’s opinion of the situation. It can be tough when the grieving process is in full swing to really worry about this, but most legitimate lawyers doing this kind of work will give a quick review without too much cost. You get what you pay for generally. A more experienced attorney might cost more, but during this time, when t

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