What is Probate?

In Blended Families, Probate by Tarleton

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The probate process in Texas is often misunderstood.  The term “probate” simply means the court-supervised process for handling the estate of a deceased person. Probate includes paying off any debts, expenses, and taxes, and the distribution of any remaining property according to the Will (if a valid Will exists) or to the heirs under Texas laws regarding intestacy (“intestacy” means no valid Will exists).   It is important to note that, under Texas Estates Code Section 256.003, a Will must be filed for probate within four years after the death of the testator (the person who made the Will).  After four years, a Will may be filed as a “muniment of title” if the applicant is not “in default”.   Initial probate steps If there is a …

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Estate planning is essential for adults of any age, including new college students.  New college students look forward to the growing independence that comes with moving into a new dorm room or apartment, but parents and family are often still supporting the student as he or she explores new opportunities, such as study abroad or travel with a student group.  There are key documents and important information that a parent should have in case an emergency arises.   Legally an Adult.  Did you consider that once your child reaches age 18, you may no longer automatically make important medical or financial decisions on your child’s behalf?  Under Texas law, a person is legally an adult upon reaching age 18, and doctors and hospitals must respect …