I provide wills & probate services for my clients.
About My Estate Planning Services
Estate planning is not only for the wealthy.
Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate. To that end, during estate planning I help clients eliminate uncertainties so their loved ones won’t have a difficult time probating the will when it is time. In addition, depending on the client’s stage of life, guardians can be designated for their minor children or for themselves in case of their later incapacity.
To help my clients feel comfortable with the process, I offer free initial consultations and supply only the documents needed so that estate planning can be as affordable and convenient as possible. Please call me today at 682-234-2006 or email me.
Estate planning can involve the following documents: the will; trusts; beneficiary designations; powers of appointment; property ownership (joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety); gifts; and powers of attorney, specifically the durable financial power of attorney and the durable medical power of attorney; and advance directives to physicians (also known as a “living will”). Estate planning often includes specific final arrangements, such as whether to be buried or cremated, as part of the documents.
Because my clients have different needs, I tailor their estate planning documents to fit their situation; as a result, plans can be quite simple or very complex. Because I understand that every client is unique, I do not employ a “cookie cutter” approach. My clients and I work together to develop the plan that will best give them peace of mind that they have taken care of their affairs to ease any unnecessary burden on their family and friends.
About My Probate Services
When a loved one passes away, his or her estate often goes through a court-managed process, called probate or estate administration, where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed.
Because the probate process can seem overwhelming to my clients, who often have just experienced an emotionally wrenching death of a loved-one, I help shoulder their burden by walking them through the process, allowing them to feel in control of the situation. To help further this goal I offer affordable, high-quality legal help, with free initial consultations. Please call me today at 682-234-2006.
If your loved-one owned his or her assets through a well-drafted and properly funded living trust, it is likely that no court-managed administration is necessary, although the successor trustee needs to administer the distribution of the deceased’s assets.
The length of time and steps needed to complete the probate of an estate depends on the size and complexity of the estate and the local rules and schedule of the probate court.
Every probate estate is unique, but most involve the following steps:
- Filing of an application/petition with the proper probate court.
- Notice to beneficiaries under the will or to statutory heirs (if no will exists).
- Application to appoint executor (in the case of a will) or administrator for the estate.
- Notice to creditors published as required.
- Inventory and appraisement of estate assets by executor/administrator filed with the court.
- Payment of estate debts to rightful creditors.
- Sale of estate assets, if necessary.
- Payment of estate taxes, if applicable.
- Final distribution of assets to beneficiaries/heirs.
Fees and Time Needed
The cost and duration of probate can vary substantially depending on a number of factors such as the value and complexity of the estate, the existence of a will, and the location of real property owned by the estate. Will contests or disputes with alleged creditors over the debts of the estate can also add significant cost and delay. Common expenses of an estate include executors fees, attorney fees, accounting fees, court fees, appraisal costs, and surety bonds, if applicable.
I typically charge a flat fee for handling probate matters, which varies from case to case, depending on the specific facts of each matter. Most estates can be settled through probate in about six to 18 months, assuming there is no litigation involved.