Houston Probate Attorney Serving Throughout Harris County, Texas
Based in Houston, Stephens | Domnitz | Meineke PLLC assists clients throughout Harris County, Texas in probate administration, including providing effective representation in complex disputes. The loss of a loved one is a traumatic event, and making financial and legal decisions while grieving can be extremely difficult and stressful. With this in mind, we are committed to providing compassionate, efficient, and cost-effective services.
Probate is the process in which a court oversees the administration of a deceased person’s estate. The purpose of probate is to ensure that any final bills and expenses are paid, including any taxes owed, and any remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries named in a will, or if the decedent died “intestate” (without a will), to his or her heirs in accordance with Texas’ laws governing intestate succession. We possess a wealth of probate administration experience, and capably guide our clients through all necessary proceedings. We work closely with the personal representative of the estate to expedite the administration process. Our comprehensive services include but are not limited to:
- Advice regarding the terms of the decedent’s will, including advice regarding any challenges to the decedent’s will
- Preparation and filing of all necessary Probate Court documents
- Representation in all Probate Court proceedings
- Representation in disputes between beneficiaries and the estate executor or administrator
- Handling creditor’s claims
The probate system is intended to help heirs and beneficiaries obtain clear title to assets and to prevent false claims against the decedent’s estate. Many banks and other financial institutions will not release funds and assets to an account owner’s heirs or beneficiaries without a probate order that protects them from liability. Thus, probate is often necessary or beneficial in many situations, and with knowledgeable legal counsel, the process does not have to be lengthy, expensive, or complicated. At Stephens | Domnitz | Meineke PLLC, we possess the experience and expertise to accomplish probate in a timely manner while maintaining utmost sensitivity to our clients’ specific concerns.
Complex Probate Administration & Disputes
A large majority of Texas probate cases are handled through independent administration, which requires only one court hearing and the filing of an inventory of assets. If a will is properly drafted and specifically provides for independent administration, this process can be completed relatively quickly. However, if a person dies intestate, or if a will is poorly drafted or lacks important provisions, the process can become much more complex and parties may become contentious. Estates involving significant net worth may pose additional administration challenges. With over 20 years of experience, we are qualified to handle even the most complex and sensitive issues, including interfamily will contests.
Seek Experienced, Supportive Representation
Serving as the personal representative of a decedent’s estate involves many fiduciary duties and responsibilities. It is important to seek the guidance and representation of an experienced Texas probate attorney. Please contact our probate attorney for a complimentary consultation.