Probate Attorney, George E. Thompson Helping Clients With Estate Administration
If you are named as an executor or personal representative for a deceased person, you may feel initially overwhelmed by the process. Under Texas probate laws, a will is valid when the following elements are met at the time of execution:
- The testator was at least 18 years of age, married or serving in the armed forces;
- The testator was of sound mind and not under coercion or duress;
- The testator intended to dispose of his property at the time of death.
In addition, Texas law requires all wills to be signed by the testator (or someone acting on his behalf) and two credible witnesses. If these elements are met, the will is entered into probate and the executor can begin the process of managing claims, handling debts and distributing property. If you have questions about the validity of your will or need assistance in handling the administration of an estate, Mr. Thompson and his team can help.
Probate Attorney, George E. Thompson Discusses the General Probate Timeline
Once a person passes away, the executor has a certain amount of time to enter the will into probate and officially “open” the estate. Once the executor is approved, minimal court supervision is necessary under the Texas doctrine of Independent Administration. This means that you will not need permission from the Probate Court for each action taken as executor of the will and the court essentially trusts you will complete the tasks faithfully and in a timely manner.
After the estate is opened, any individual or entity with a claim against the estate may seek repayment within four months of receiving notice of the decedent’s passing. The executor may either pay the claim or dispute it, which will require submission of the issue to the probate court. If you anticipate facing an issue with creditors as you handle an estate, our firm can help you through the process and ensure that only valid claims are paid.
Probate Attorney George E. Thompson
Once the creditor claims period passes, the executor must then arrange for a final inventory and, ultimately, distribute property and assets to beneficiaries. If you are named as executor or would like to set up your estate plan, contact the Law Offices of George E. Thompson, P.C. by calling (713) 439-0700.