Estate planning is the process of making plans for the disposition of your assets after your death. This includes deciding who will inherit your assets, as well as making arrangements for the management and distribution of your estate. Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, including collecting the assets, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.
In Texas, estate planning and probate law are governed by state law. Texas has its own set of probate laws, which outline the process for administering an estate and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
There are several different types of estate planning documents that can be used in Texas, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. A will is a legal document that specifies how your assets should be distributed after your death, and can also appoint a guardian for any minor children. A trust is a legal arrangement in which a person (the trustor) transfers ownership of their assets to another person (the trustee) to hold and manage for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary). A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs and make decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated.
Probate in Texas typically involves filing a petition with the probate court, identifying and inventorying the deceased person’s assets, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the heirs or beneficiaries. The probate process can be complex and time-consuming, and it is often advisable to seek the help of an experienced probate lawyer to ensure that the process is handled properly.