Many people believe that a will takes effect on the day it is drafted or, if not, on the date of death of the drafter of the will (called the “testator”). Although Texas law provides that title to the decedent’s property “vests” in his will beneficiaries or, if there is no will, his heirs on the date of the decedent’s death, the beneficiary’s right to take possession of the property is subject to the administration of the estate. Probate is the process whereby a will is recognized as the valid last will of the testator and, in many cases, facilitates the appointment of an executor or administrator to administer the estate. The process involves the filing of an application by an interested party, usually the named executor, and a hearing after which the court will enter an order admitting the will to probate if the court is satisfied that the applicant has met his burden of proof. The order becomes a part of the county records. Once the executor or administrator is appointed, they will then administer the estate. Administration includes things such as giving notices to creditors, handling creditor claims and payment of debts, filing an inventory and list of claims, selling property as may be authorized by the will, and closing out the estate and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.
Gus G. Tamborello, P.C. can assist clients with:
- Probating wills and completing determination of heirships;
- Representing parties in contesting and defending wills;
- Representing executors, administrators and trustees in carrying out their duties;
- Representing creditors in filing claims against estates;
- Representing beneficiaries of estates to protect their interest;
- Representing parties in cases of breach of fiduciary duty;
- Serving as executor or administrator of estates as agreed to by the parties and appointed by the probate court judges; and
- Mediating disputes relating to probate, estates, trusts and guardianships.