TEXAS PROBATE ATTORNEY
We are here to help you through the process.
We have the experience to make the process smooth while minimizing cost where possible.
We are hard driving if there is a battle, but we excel at calming the storm if at all possible.
Our job is to protect you so you get the inheritance that you deserve.
Small estate or huge, Complicated or simple such as needing only to get a car or house taken care of — we are here to help!
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
What is Probate?
Probate is the process when someone dies to collect their assets, pay their debts if appropriate, and distribute the remainder to the heirs.
This may involve taking a will to a judge for approval, or if no will, then simply filing some documents with the court or perhaps the deed records, or there may not be anything to do at all.
We will figure it out!
Call or Chat with us 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)
– You are a Real Estate agent and need help closing a deal because it is stuck in probate
When Someone dies with a will
If there is a properly drafted will and says that there is to ab an independent administration and no bond, then the estate may qualify for “independent administration” which means that we do not need to go back to court and get the judges approval for everything — we are independent of the judge. This is the most common probate procedure.
Dependent administration should be avoided in my opinion — you have to take your lawyer with you every time you go to court. We will discuss this option before we consider it.
Probate of Will as a Muniment of Title
If there is a properly drafted will and the estate has no debts (other than secured debts such mortgages on real estate or car loans), the estate may qualify for this simplified procedure. The judge will simply order that the will is valid and they we must do what it says. With this, you do not need an executor, we file it with the deed records to move the house to the new owner, and us it at the DMV to move cars and also bank accounts. We have to be careful, some banks will not accept this form. Usually I do an independent administration in those cases. No big deal.
When Someone dies without a will
When Someone dies without a will — but the estate is worth less than $75,000
Small Estate Affidavit
If there is no will and the estate is worth less than $75,000 (not including the homestead and certain non-probate assets), the estate may qualify for this procedure. The cost depends on the number of heirs and the difficulty in reaching them but is generally much less expensive than an heirship proceeding.
You can do this yourself without a lawyer. Only in rare cases do we help clients fill it out. It is very challenging to do, you MUST fill out the forms carefully!
If we do the forms, you would be responsible for arranging with heirs to get all signatures and appropriate notaries completed. (We can notarize for free of course when scheduled)
Warning: if property passes to minor children, it still may be necessary to establish a guardianship or court controled trust, which requires a lawyer and can be very costly.
If a Small Estate Affidavit cannot be done . . .
Heirship Proceeding – Determination of Heirship
If there is no will and the estate is worth more than $75,000 (not including the homestead and certain non-probate assets), it may be necessary for a judge to determine who the heirs are.
The judge appoints an “attorney ad litem” to represent the interests of potential or “unknown” heirs. The exact cost depends on the number of heirs and the complexity of the estate Also, if property passes to minor children, it may be necessary to establish a guardianship.
Once this proceeding is done, we have an order that shows who inherits which can be used in place of the will to show the world who inherits.
We also apply for you or yours to be the administrator of the estate so bills can be paid and ultimately remaining assets paid to the heirs.
We provide everything you need, including deeds and other documents to finish the probate.
Questions and Answers about Probate
Do you represent someone being denied their inheritance?
Our firm has extensive experience in probate litigation. There is no way to know how long the battle may last. A non-refundable initial retainer of 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 $100,000, the case may qualify for a contingent fee arrangement. You would be responsible for court costs of around $400 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?
If the estate is worth more than $100,000, 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, 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.
Will you talk to me while we work through the probate?
Yes, you will have my personal cell number — not a lot of attorneys work that closely with their clients. Consider this carefully before you pick the big firm in their big offices that have to pay big bills. We actually care about our clients. No kidding.