Filing for probate means a party must “prove up” a will in a Texas court. The judge must decide that a proffered document is the valid last will and testament of a person that has died. This process can also mean settling a deceased person’s estate according to the intestacy laws of Texas if that died without a will.
It can be a simple or very complex process – especially when no valid will is in place, or when a will needs is contested. If you live in or around Dallas and have questions regarding the probate process or whether a will is valid or perhaps a forgery or the result of undue influence, contact an experienced probate lawyer at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., today.
What Is a Will?
A last will and testament is a written document which specifically states who inherits your assets after you die – whether to individuals or charitable organizations. In this legal document, you can also state your preferences for the guardian of your minor children, the manager of your assets (trustee) and the executor (the person designated to carry out your wishes).
How Can You Contest a Will in Dallas?
There can be many grounds to contest a will in Dallas including:
- Lack of capacity – If the deceased was of unsound mind when the will was executed.
- Duress – If the deceased was coerced, forced or convinced to sign a will that they would not have done so otherwise..
- Due execution – In Dallas and throughout Texas, the person signing the will must take certain steps. If not executed according to the law, the will can be voided.
Are you suspicious that a will was executed wrongfully, a Dallas probate lawyer from Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., can assist you, starting with a free and confidential consultation.
What Assets Can You Put in a Will?
A will can include any type of property including pets, corporate shares, cash, bank accounts, collections, jewelry, real property, royalties, stock, cars, just about anything of value.
Choosing an Executor for Your Will
This is probably the most important decision one makes when creating a will. This person is responsible for ensuring that your property left to your beneficiaries gets distributed according to your wishes. When choosing your executor, you should:
- A Family Member Might be best – Many people family member as an executor. If a family member is somebody you trust the most, that might be a good idea as the executor of your will.
- Pick backup executor – If your executor can’t or won’t serve as the executor, you should have a backup selected.
- Pick somebody your age or younger – You want to try to make sure that when you died, your executor is still alive and in good health.
- Find a person that lives close to you – While this is not required, it will save time and expenses if they need to meet with lawyers or appear in court.
- Trustworthiness is the most important quality for an executor, not experience – You don’t need any special knowledge, training or experience to be an executor – just pick a person you trust completely.
What If You Die Without a Will in Dallas?
Many people die without a will in Dallas. If you have no spouse or children, your assets will go to your parents. If you are married, they will go to your spouse and children
A Probate Court judge will determine how your property should be divided. In this case, perhaps your last wishes may not be carried out. A will can prevent this from happening and make sure that you determine your beneficiaries and who inherits your property.
Contact an Experienced Dallas Probate Attorney
Wills let you to assert control over the distribution of your assets upon your death and, more importantly, who will take care of your children when you are gone. To start planning for tomorrow, contact our Dallas probate attorneys. At Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., we can help you create a will in Dallas that is enforceable and will truly reflect your wishes. Contact us now to schedule a free and confidential meeting with one of our attorneys today.