Estate planning can often allow surviving families to feel more at ease when it comes to closing a recently deceased loved one's estate. They will better understand what the person wanted in terms of how to distribute assets and a variety of other estate-related issues. Of course, some terms of an estate plan could come as a shock to those who lose out on an inheritance.
Estate issues can often cause considerable conflict among family members. When a substantial amount of money is at stake, surviving loved ones can often feel a great deal of tension when working toward what they believe is the right outcomes for estate administration. Texas residents may be interested in one such situation currently underway in another state.
The death of a loved one often acts as a catalyst for many life changes. Texas residents may need to make accommodations in order to fill the roles the deceased person may have played in their lives, and surviving family may also have many responsibilities with which to contend in order to address the decedent's estate. If the person did not take steps to avoid the process, probate proceedings will likely be necessary.
The passing of a loved one often leaves surviving family feeling the emotional impacts for a substantial amount of time. While working through the process of grieving, many individuals often have to deal with legal proceedings surrounding estate administration. The actions necessary for administration may go smoothly if an estate plan was in place, but some confusion and complications could still arise.
When a loved one dies, there are some basic principles of estate administration in Texas that will help the surviving family to know what to do. First, the survivors must locate all estate planning papers, such as a will and trust documents. The records of all assets must be accumulated and examined. If all assets were owned jointly with a spouse, or with someone else with the right of survivorship, then there are no assets remaining and no need or reason to file an estate or engage in estate administration.
Whether one lives in Texas or elsewhere, there are some common points to remember when getting ready for a first meeting with an estate planning attorney. One of the goals of estate planning will be to assure a smooth estate administration at the person's death. Usually, the bedrock of the estate papers in that respect will be the last will and testament.
In Texas and other jurisdictions, some of the biggest problems occur because a decedent did not have a will. The developing chaos over Prince's estate is an excellent example of oddities that can emerge where a wealthy celebrity dies without a will. The most dramatic incident is the appearance of an unknown female claiming to be the pop star's half-sister who is entitled to an equal share of the estate. The estate administration will not be finalized until the issue over the "long lost" heir is resolved.
The function of a will in Texas and elsewhere is to allow the maker of the will, called the testator, to designate who he or she wants to inherit his or her assets at death. The will usually appoints an executor, who administers the testator's wishes and performs all of the duties required by law. The executor must take the will to the county courthouse and file it for probate. This also includes paying a filing fee and taking an oath of office to perform the duties according to law.
When a loved one dies, certain procedures to settle his or her testamentary wishes must be started relatively soon after death. In Texas and elsewhere, when a loved one dies leaving assets, the first thing that the family must do is to locate the most recent will -- if, in fact, one exists. If the decedent regularly consulted with an estate planning attorney, the process will probably flow more smoothly because counsel will likely have a record of all pertinent documents. Assuming there is a will, the original will must be filed in the appropriate office in the county courthouse. This will begin the estate administration process, also referred to as probate.
When considering important family and/or financial issues, it is typically helpful to seek the guidance of an experienced professional. Estate administration and planning are among the issues sometimes faced by Texas families that can be quite complex and complicated for those involved. If you are unsure about how to develop a secure and appropriate estate plan or have questions or concerns about an existing plan, you might choose to seek the legal guidance of an attorney who has experience in estate planning and inheritance matters.