What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process that confirms that someone has passed away and distributes their assets.

A Testate Probate Administration happens when a person dies with a will that defines all beneficiaries of the estate and how assets should be distributed. During this process, the will be authenticated and the executor will be involved in the division of assets and taking care of any liabilities of the estate.

An Intestate Probate Administration happens when a person dies without a will. In this care, an heirship proceeding will determine the heirs of the decedent and Texas law will determine how assets are distributed. An administrator will be appointed and act as executor of the estate.  They will locate any legal heirs and the probate court will then ascertain what needs to be distributed.

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probate meeting

How Does Probate Court Work?

Probate begins when a petition is filed with the probate court.  A will is supplied to the court at the time of filings if one is available. Next, an administrator or executor is appointed.  This person will ensure that all of the administrative duties are completed in regard to the probate.  This will include establishing a bank account, posting legal notices in the newspaper, verifying creditor claims, notifying beneficiaries and handling the final tax return of the decedent.

How Can a Probate Lawyer Help Me?

A probate attorney, also called an estate attorney, works with the executors of a decedent’s estate to manage the probate process. The probate attorney can handle the collection of life insurance proceeds, identifying assets, assisting in handling debts against the estate, resolving tax issues and disbursing assets to beneficiaries.

Probate attorneys can also help in the case of a contested will, reviewing the will and helping to prove the validity or invalidity of the document.

When Should I Start the Probate Process?

While you have four years from the date your loved one passes away to get the will into probate, you should do this as soon as possible.  You don’t have to have all assets in order. The probate process will include locating assets and beneficiaries.   

How Can I Reduce the Cost of Probate?

During the probate process, you must prove who the decedent’s heirs are.  Having a will that clearly states them will help to reduce the time of probate and the fees and costs associated with the probate process.

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More Probate Services

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With Will

If you are named as executor in a loved one’s will, the Law Office of Julius Eric Junker represents executors, administrators, and trustees throughout the probate process and can advise you about your legal responsibilities and risks.

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Without a Will

If you are named as the trustee or successor trustee of a trust, we will explain your powers and duties under the terms of the trust and applicable law.

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Alternatives

We are committed to helping you through the probate process as quickly and efficiently as possible, providing alternatives to your Probate case.

Leaving a Legacy

Eric Junker is a highly dedicated probate and estate planning lawyer in Richmond, Texas. With years of experience, Eric focuses on the areas of Wills, Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Special Needs Planning, special needs trusts, family partnerships, small business planning, and more.

If you need a Will or more complex Estate Planning, Eric Junker works with you to provide a comprehensive estate plan that ensures that your property goes where you want it with and your loved ones will not have to suffer through endless legal hassles after you are gone.

Learn More About Probate

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