Responsive law firm provides legal services from our office in Livingston

Probating a deceased loved one’s estate can be challenging without the help of a knowledgeable attorney who understands all of the steps involved. The Williams Firm, P.C. in Livingston, Texas represents estate executors and administrators throughout the probate process, providing guidance so that each task is properly completed and assets can be distributed to beneficiaries. We specialize in assisting out-of-state administrators in probate proceedings. With over 25 years of experience, you can rely on our firm for effective legal services and counsel. From our office in Livingston, we primarily represent clients in Polk, San Jacinto, Liberty, Tyler, Angelina and Walker counties. 

What steps are involved in probating a will?

Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of a person who has died. An executor is someone named in the will who is tasked with administering the deceased’s estate. Administrators are appointed by the court when a person dies without a will and therefore has not named an executor. No matter which role you have, there are several responsibilities involved throughout the process. Some of the main tasks include:

  • Filing for a probate application with the court in the county where the decedent lived
  • Identifying and valuing the decedent’s assets and property
  • Informing creditors about the person’s death and settling outstanding debts
  • Notifying beneficiaries who were named in the decedent’s will

If there are no disputes over the will and its validity, assets can then be distributed to beneficiaries. If the will is challenged, whether due to suspicion that the testator was not of sound mind or they were coerced, disputes must be legally resolved before assets can be transferred to beneficiaries. In many cases, the Texas courts require that executors hire an attorney to represent them and the interests of beneficiaries during probate. We can assist you with all the complex steps involved and, when disputes arise, work to resolve challenges to the will.

What assets do not have to go through probate?

Not all assets must go through the probate process. Bank accounts, IRAs, property held in trusts, property held in joint tenancy, pensions, life insurance policies and other assets with named beneficiaries are transferred directly to those parties upon the owner’s death. We can answer any questions you have about non-probate assets and property.

What if the decedent died without a will?

If people die without a will, non-probate assets are transferred to named beneficiaries as previously described. Assets that would have typically passed through a will are distributed to heirs under intestate succession, which does not take into account the decedent’s preferences. Intestate succession passes assets to close family members in a specific order that depends on what relatives the decedent had when they died, not on the strength of those relationships. If you were named by the court as administrator for a decedent who died without a will, our attorney can advise you throughout the intestate succession process.

Contact an experienced Texas attorney for assistance with probate

At The Williams Firm, P.C., our firm helps clients in Polk, San Jacinto, Liberty, Tyler, Angelina and Walker counties with Texas probate matters. To schedule a consultation, call our firm at 936-209-4122 or contact us online.