Law Office of Albert Lee Giddens

Serving Houston and surrounding areas for more than 30 years               

                                                                                Phone:713-947-0001  Fax: 713-947-6527

                                                                                    

 

Probate

Probate is the legal process used by the Courts to administer a decedent's estate. Some of the more common reasons for the probate process are to clear title to property, give notice and pay creditors, and if the decedent had a will, to disburse the estate property in accordance with their will. An estate consists of all property that was owned by the deceased at the time of death that did not otherwise transfer outside of the court. A common example of a non-probate asset would be a bank account that has a designated beneficiary named to receive the funds upon the death of the owner of the account. This account is commonly referred to as a payable on death account.

Once a probate has been opened it stays opened until all debtors are dealt with, title is transfered correctly, taxes are paid, and any other loose ends that need to be addressed are taken care of. Typically there is an estate representative that works with the attorney to handle all of these tasks this person is referred to as the executor if there is a will or an administrator if there is not a will. The executor is a person named in the will. An administrator is typically a family member or close familyfriend. The role of both the executor and the administratoris to make sure the probate is performed correctly. For this reason going through probate without an attorney can be difficult and burdensome. Once the court sees that the estate has been handled correctly the probate can be closed. This is just a brief overview of the probate process and should be discussed in more detail with an attorney.

Not everyone needs to go through the probate process. Probate can be expensive, but a good estate plan can help you find ways to save money. To learn more you should go to the estate planning section on this website or call to make an appointment. If you would like to know what to expect before coming to our office, please see our Initial Consultations section.  

 

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