The Woodlands Probate Lawyer

When a person passes away in Texas, their estate must be settled and distributed according to instructions in their will. Unfortunately, this cannot wait until after the initial mourning process and must be executed promptly after your loved one’s passing. The process of the will being executed and settling the deceased affairs before the court is called probate. While probate is required in Texas, an attorney can help you navigate this stressful and complex process as you grieve with your family.

At Stepp Law Firm PLLC, our dedicated Woodlands probate attorneys are committed to helping our clients handle the probate process in the Woodlands, Texas, and across the United States. We pride ourselves on putting our clients’ needs first to ensure each of your unique needs are addressed. When you retain our services, you can have peace of mind that your loved one’s wishes and your best interests are our top priorities.

What is Probate?

When a person in Texas dies, their will and estate must be validated and settled before the court. Through the probate process, all of the deceased’s debts will be paid, and their remaining assets will be distributed to their heirs and beneficiaries. If the decedent did not have a will, the court will determine how to allocate their assets best while complying with Texas law. After your loved one’s passing, acting quickly to begin the probate process is essential. In Texas, an estate must go through probate within four years of an individual’s death. While this may seem like ample time to settle the estate, starting the process as soon as possible is essential to lessen the impact of any delays. 

During probate proceedings, the executor or administrator of the estate will be tasked with identifying and determining the monetary value of the deceased person’s assets and debts. Then, they will settle any outstanding debts and file the decedent’s final tax return. The remaining assets will then be distributed to the heirs or beneficiaries under court supervision. Probate in Texas can be convoluted for those without a thorough understanding of the laws involved. If you must navigate Texas’ probate process, it is critical to contact a seasoned Woodlands probate lawyer who can guide you through every step of the proceedings to ensure your loved one’s wishes are faithfully carried out.

Can I Avoid Probate in Texas?

While it is possible to avoid probate in Texas, it will depend heavily on the decedent’s estate planning and the types of assets to be distributed. Below are a few ways to potentially avoid probate in Texas:

  • Establish a living trust: By creating a revocable living trust, an individual can transfer ownership of their assets to the trust and avoid the need for probate upon their death.
  • Joint ownership: If the decedent owned assets jointly with another person, such as a spouse, those assets will pass directly to the surviving joint owner outside of probate.
  • Beneficiary designations: Certain assets, including life insurance policies and retirement accounts, allow individuals to name beneficiaries who will receive the assets directly upon their death.
  • Transfer-on-death deeds: Real estate can be transferred using a Transfer-on-Death deed, allowing the property to pass directly to the named beneficiary without probate.

These methods of avoiding probate require careful planning and the eyes of a seasoned legal professional. Consulting with an estate planning attorney at Stepp Law Firm PLLC can help you determine the best approach for your situation and ensure your final wishes are respected. 

Ways a Skilled The Woodlands Probate Attorney Can Help You

As you grieve the loss of a loved one, tackling probate on your own can seem daunting and overwhelming. At Stepp Law Firm PLLC, our attorneys are committed to helping you settle your loved one’s estate as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Our attorneys can assist in many ways, including the following:

  • File all paperwork correctly and on time
  • Inventory and secure the decedent’s estate
  • Find and collect on the decedent’s life insurance policies
  • Obtain accurate appraisals of the decedent’s assets
  • Settle any outstanding debts
  • Prepare the decedent’s final tax return
  • Guide you through every step of the probate process
  • Provide objective advice and answer your legal questions

Our trusted Woodlands probate lawyers are ready to use our four decades of experience and skills to help you settle your estate in a way that honors your loved one’s wishes and complies with Texas law. 

Discuss Your Case with an Award Winning Probate Attorney at Stepp Law Firm PLLC

At Stepp Law Firm PLLC, we understand the toll the loss of a beloved family member can have on your life. We aim to make the probate process as stress-free as possible so you can settle your loved one’s estate easily and efficiently. We understand the ins and outs of Texas probate law and have a proven track record of successfully representing clients nationwide. To learn more about how we can help you and schedule a free consultation, call our Woodlands probate lawyers today at 713-336-7200 or complete our contact form.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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