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Is Avoiding Probate Important in Texas?

In some states like California, where probate costs can run into tens of thousands of dollars, avoiding probate is crucial for preserving assets.  However, by comparison, probate in Texas does not involve extensive costs.  Nevertheless, the best plan is to discuss the assets and value of an estate with an experienced Texas wills and probate lawyer.  Many options are available.  Deciding whether a trust is of benefit is another option, in which case the beneficiaries avoid probate altogether.

In Texas, the term probate means the same thing as probate matter, proceeding in probate and proceedings for probate.  Probate refers to process of dealing with the estate belonging to someone who is deceased and determining the following:

  • Validity of a will
  • Heirs
  • Small estate affidavit
  • Community property administration
  • Homestead and family allowances
  • Payment of debts owed by the deceased
  • Settlement of personal representative’s account of the estate
  • Distribution of assets
  • Will construction suit or contest

The Texas Probate Code lays the ground rules for how Texas conducts probate proceedings.

Probate of an estate where the individual died intestate (without a will) generally involves greater costs because sorting out the estate involves more work.  If the estate’s value is less than $50,000, which does not include exempt property and the homestead, a Texas probate lawyer can see if the estate meets all qualifications to file a small estate affidavit, which is typically less expensive than probate administration for most inheritances.

Anyone with an estate can benefit from discussing options with an experienced probate lawyer in Texas.  Having an estate plan usually makes dealing with an estate easier for surviving family.

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Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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