Administration of Estates
Our Plano and Frisco Probate Lawyers Counsel on All Aspects of Estate Administration
Estate administration is complex. Governed by the Texas Estates Code, common law and the language of the will, the administrator is tasked with carrying out the intentions of the decedent; or, in the absence of a will, the laws set forth for descent and distribution in Texas.
Albin Roach represents administrators throughout North Texas. Our Plano and Frisco probate lawyers assist you with probate, distribution of non-probate assets and resolution of disputes.
Executor Named in a Last Will and Testament
A will generally names an executor to administer the estate. This person is considered an independent administrator and is often a loved one or a trusted advisor to the decedent. The executor undertakes important duties to locate, evaluate and distribute assets. The probate court rarely requires an independent administrator to post a bond before performing his or her executor tasks, which primarily involve:
- Locating and inventorying the decedent’s assets
- Preserving the value of the property
- Paying taxes
- Paying the decedent’s debts
- Distributing the assets to the beneficiaries or heirs
The time and effort involved in carrying out these duties depends on the complexity of the estate and the language in the will itself. For example, a straightforward estate that does not exceed the statutory minimum and is left to amenable family members may be subject to expedited probate. The process becomes more complex when disputes arise between beneficiaries, the property is of high value or the decedent’s intentions are unclear.
Court Appointment of an Administrator
Intestate refers to a person who dies without a will. When this occurs, the court must first determine who the heirs are of the decedent, then appoint someone as the administrator. Normally, these type of administrations are considered “dependent,” which results in maximum court supervision and requires the posting of a bond.
Alternatively, if all of the heirs agree, the court can appoint someone as an independent administrator and waive the requirement of a bond, in which case from that point forward, the estate would be managed similar to the way it would be with a will.
Some assets of an estate may not be subject to probate, or the entire estate may be administered outside of probate. You may be able to administer the whole or part of an estate outside of probate in these situations:
- Real estate that is titled as joint tenancy with right of survivorship
- Other assets that are held as joint tenants with rights of survivorship like checking and savings accounts
- Assets that are held in trust
- Assets that name a beneficiary like a life insurance policy, Certificate of Deposit or a 401k
A common and misleading assumption is that avoiding probate is always desirable. However, probate can serve some important functions, including overseeing the fair and efficient distribution of assets, protecting beneficiaries’ rights, upholding the decedent’s wishes and resolving disputes. Probate a Will in Texas is not as difficult, expensive or time consuming as it may be in many other states, but we will advise you in the manner best suited to expeditiously and efficiently handled your probate matter.
Get the Assistance You Need with Estate Administration
Albin Roach helps you with all aspects of administering an estate. Learn more about how our Plano and Frisco probate lawyers can help you. Call our firm at 214-423-5100 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.