If you recently experienced the loss of a loved one you are undoubtedly still going through the grieving process. That can make it particularly difficult for you if you are also responsible for administering your loved one’s estate. Whether you were named as the Executor of the Will or the Trustee of a Trust Agreement, carrying out your duties can be challenging while you are also managing your grief. At Slaton Schauer Law Firm, PLLC we are committed to helping you navigate the probate and trust administration processes following the loss of a loved one.
What Is Involved in Probate?
Most people leave behind an estate that is made up of their assets when they pass away. Those assets may include real property (a home or land), personal property (furnishings, cash, vehicles), or intangible property (copyrights, intellectual property). Those assets must be accounted for and eventually transferred to the new owners. The legal process by which this is accomplished is referred to as “probate.” If the decedent left behind a Last Will and Testament, the person named as the Executor in that Will is in charge of overseeing the probate of the estate and the terms of the Will determine who receives the assets. If the decedent died intestate (without a Will), the court will appoint someone to oversee probate and the Texas intestate succession laws will decide how the assets are distributed. Probate can be time consuming, especially if the estate is involved in litigation. If you are in charge of probating an estate, having an experienced probate attorney on your side decreases the possibly of making costly mistakes.
What Is Involved in Trust Administration?
If your loved one left behind a trust that named you as the Trustee, it means you are in charge of administering the trust. Because assets held in a trust do not have to go through probate, people often choose to use a trust instead of a Will to gift assets. As the Trustee, you are responsible for distributing the trust assets using the guidelines found in the trust agreement. Trust administration, however, involves much more than just distributing the assets held by the trust. You will be required to manage and invest the assets, keep the beneficiaries informed and resolve disputes among them, keep detailed records, and make sure the trust taxes are paid each year. An experienced trust administration attorney can help you carry out the duties and responsibilities the go along with the job of Trustee.
Probate and Trust Administration Resources
Travis County – Probate Court
Travis County – Court Policy Regarding “Pro Se” Applicants (Applicants without a Lawyer)
Texas Constitution and Statutes – Texas Trust Code
The probate and trust administration attorneys at Slaton Schauer Law Firm, PLLC look forward to helping you if you are in charge of administering an estate. Contact our office today by calling 512-258-9455 or filling out our online contact form.