When an individual dies in Texas, their property must be disposed of either by statute or by Will. When a loved one dies and they have left a Will designating how they want their property to be distributed, the Will must be probated in order for the wishes of the deceased to have legal effect.
In most cases, a Will designates an executor to represent their estate. The executor is the person who will file the probate action in the probate courts. An executor may not represent themselves without an attorney in a probate court because only a person who truly represents their own interests may appear without legal counsel. A person who is representing the estate of a deceased person is not representing their own interests, but rather the interests of the deceased person's estate.
To be brief, the responsibilities of an executor, depending on whether or not the Will has designated them to be independent or dependent of court supervision, will be to swear to the fact that the Will entered into probate is an original Will and that it was signed by the deceased. The court will designate the person named in the Will as the executor and issue Letters Testamentary to the executor to evidence their court appointment. The executor will be responsible after the hearing to pay the debts of the estate, distribute the deceased's estate according to the Will and to give a court a final accounting of all of the assets and debts of the estate.
Keever & Wiesenthal will represent an interested party in the probate process in a cost-effective and timely manner. Usually, an uncontested probate should require only one hearing and a later filing of the inventory of the estate, among other duties. We ensure that you receive the best representation in the courtroom, with careful preparation as to what to expect.
Call us for a consultation as to what will be necessary to take care of your probate needs.