Frequently Asked Questions About Probate In Collin County

Probate lawyers in Collin County understand that while we’re well-versed in the probate process, it is a whole new world to most of our clients. That means that you likely have lots of questions that you need answered. Fortunately, answering those questions is exactly what we do!

Do the Collin County Probate Courts Have to Be Involved If Someone Dies Without a Will?

One of the most common questions asked when someone dies without a will is whether the courts must be involved. The short answer to this is “it depends.” The Plano probate lawyer helps to guide the estate through the process.

If probate is required, the probate court’s job is to ensure that the decedent’s affairs are legally concluded. This typically means that someone is appointed to oversee the estate and follow through with transferring property to heirs as deemed appropriate. Additionally, court fees, estate taxes, creditors, and all other applicable costs will be paid out of the estate. When the courts name this person, he or she is usually either referred to as the administrator.

Do the Collin County Probate Courts Have to Be Involved If Someone With a Will?

The short answer to this is, again, “it depends” and a Plano probate lawyer can help guide you through the process.

Even if a person has a Will, it does not mean that they can avoid probate. In fact, a Will is just a piece of paper until the person who made it has died and the will is admitted into Probate as that person’s last will and testament. Only then does it become effective to transfer the assets. To be sure, the Probate process is a whole lot simpler if you have a will than if you do not. Also, there are sometimes alternatives to a full probate that might be used, depending upon the particular situation of the person that died.

Who Inherits the Estate If Someone Dies Without A Will?

If a person dies without a will and the probate courts are involved, in Collin County, the courts determine the proper division of property based on Texas law. Each state can have its own laws regarding how the property is divided, so working with a probate attorney in Texas, is the best way to ensure you understand what applies in your case.

The most common method of distribution is for property to go to family members. Most states, after paying the associated fees and other outstanding costs, will award money and property first to a current spouse and children of the decedent. If this person is unmarried or without children, the estate will likely go to parents, with siblings, grandparents, and aunts and uncles falling in line after those. In cases where no family members are found, the estate can become the property of the state.

How Can I Avoid Probate in Collin County?

The best way to avoid the more difficult aspects of probate, of course, is to plan. A probate lawyer or estate planning attorney in Plano can help you determine your needs and goals and get you set up with the right documentation to make sure that your wishes are outlined well in advance. That way, you make the decisions about your estate, instead of leaving it in the hands of the courts.

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