The attorneys at Flournoy McLain, P.C. represent individuals and corporations in all stages of probate and trust administration in Texas. We have the expertise and personnel to handle any kind and size of proceeding involving a will or trust, including contested and uncontested matters.

 

Probate Practice Areas

  • Probating wills and administering estates of people who have died, including preparation of federal estate tax returns where needed
  • Representing executors and trustees in matters such as accountings, prudent management practices, and distribution determinations
  • Representing fiduciaries who want someone to help them understand their obligations and the probate or trust administration process
  • Representing beneficiaries who want someone to help them understand the probate or trust administration process
  • Representing beneficiaries who want to make sure the executor or trustee is fulfilling their fiduciary duties
  • Formulating administration plans that help individual executors and trustees efficiently manage an estate or trust

We understand the stress and emotions that exist when someone you care about passes away. We routinely handle probate and guardianship matters throughout Texas, including Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Collin, Rockwall, Hunt, Kaufman, and Johnson Counties. Our goal is to make the estate or trust process as understandable, manageable, and efficient as possible.

 

Probate FAQs

Q: How often can I change my will and when is it valid?
A: A will can be changed as often as a person wishes. The will is valid once it is signed and the state requirements for its creation are met.

Q: What is probate?
A: A will is a binding document in the eyes of the court after the person dies and it is admitted to probate. Probate is the legal process in which a Court determines the validity of a deceased person's last will and testament once the application to probate a will is filed.

Q: Who can file an application to probate a will?
A: The executor named in the will may file an application to probate a will. Additionally, an “interested person” of the estate (someone who is entitled to assets from the estate) may file an application to probate a will. An “interested person” is defined by the Texas Probate Code as \"heirs, devisees, spouses, creditors, or any others having a property right in, or claim against, the estate being administered; and anyone interested in the welfare of an incapacitated person, including a minor."

Q: How long do I have to probate a will?
A: In Texas, an application for probate must generally be filed within four years of the date of death.

Q: Where do I file an application to probate?
A: The application to probate a will is generally filed with County Clerk in the county where the Decedent resided at the time of death.

Q: How is property divided if someone does not have a Will?
A: If someone dies intestate (without leaving a valid Will), their assets will be divided and distributed to his heirs as determined by Texas law. The Texas Probate Code has specific methods for determining the identity of the Decedent’s heirs and also the shares of the estate that each heir is entitled to share.

Q: Can a handwritten Will be probated?
A: Yes, in order for a handwritten will to be valid, it must be written completely in the handwriting of the Decedent and no portion of the Will can be typed or written in the handwriting of another person. It also must be signed by the person making the Will. While it does not require signature of witnesses it must express the Decedent’s true intent as to the disposition of his estate.

Q: Who is liable for the Decedent’s debts?
A: Creditors of the Decedent are entitled to recover their debts against the assets of the estate owned by the Decedent at the time of the Decedent's death. If the Decedent's assets are insufficient to pay all of the debts, any unpaid debts will be cancelled by the creditor.

Q: What is a Muniment of Title?
A: It is a probate proceeding unique to Texas where the will is filed through a probate proceeding to transfer ownership of real estate in Texas to the beneficiaries in the will without a deed or a full probate.

Q: How much does probate cost in Texas?
A: The probate process is a court proceeding so costs can vary widely depending on the complexity of the estate. We would be happy to discuss our fees during an initial consultation. For more information, please complete the contact us form.