Dallas Probate Lawyer
What Is Probate?
Probate is the process of distributing the assets of someone after their
death. It can involve presenting a will to a court for the appointment
of a representative, called an executor, to begin the distribution of
assets after death, or, when a person dies without a will it involves
the court appointing an administrator, who will manage the estate, and
determining who the legal heirs of the estate are.
More Information About Probate in TX
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
If you feel that a fiduciary has breached the duties expected of them
then you should consult with an experienced probate lawyer. Fiduciary
relationships are meant to protect the beneficiary of an estate or trust,
for example, and when deliberate actions are taken which could result
in adverse consequences, the breach will need to be addressed quickly.
Likewise, if you serve as a fiduciary, you should make sure that you have
experienced counsel to advise you along the way.
Intestacy and Community Property
Community property is, generally speaking, any property that is acquired
during marriage. However, as with most rules there are numerous exceptions.
Oftentimes whether property is separate or community is an issue that
has to be resolved in order to determine who inherits what. When someone
dies without a will they are said to have died intestate. In that case,
the Texas laws of intestacy will apply and the person's property will
pass to their heirs as determined by the court.
The process of managing the affairs of a person after their death and
distributing their assets is referred to as the administration of the
estate. The administration of an estate can involve wills, trusts, and
other mechanisms designed to distribute property after death. The administration
of an estate does not always take place by using the courts. Depending
on how the person set up their estate plan some assets may pass outside
Estate & Probate Litigation
If the distribution of an estate does not go as planned, a lawsuit, may
be necessary to see that the will is carried out, that the executor or
administrator acts properly, or that the will or trust is interpreted
by the court. Occasionally family members or others go to court and contend
that the person who made the will didn't have the mental capacity,
perhaps because of illness, to make a valid will or that they were unduly
influenced to favor one beneficiary over another. This is referred to
as a will contest and is one of the most frequently litigated disputes
When an adult is incapacitated and cannot care for themselves or their
finances, whether because of illness or injury, it may be necessary to
have a court appoint someone to make decisions for that person and/or
to handle their financial affairs. The same is true for a child under
the age of 18 whose parents are no longer around to care for them. In
these cases, legal guardianship of the person and/or the estate may be
Oftentimes disputes arise over the terms and conditions of a trust, what
assets are properly in the trust, who the beneficiaries are, what distributions
should be made out of the trust, whether the trustee has breached his
or her fiduciary duty, and even the validity of a trust. When these disputes
arise it is frequently necessary to resort to the Courts for a resolution.
Trusts are a way to help ensure that your property and personal finances
are properly attended to after your death and that the assets pass where
you want them to go. Many trusts are also motivated by tax considerations.
Trusts can be created during a person's lifetime (such as a living
trust) or established after death based upon the decedent's will (a
Will contests involve the contest of the will based on lack of testamentary
capacity, undue influence, fraud, forgery, or failure to properly execute
a will. Any interested person may file a will contest. Generally, the
statute of limitations for filing a will contest is 2 years, but this
period can be longer if fraud or forgery is involved or the interested
person is under a disability (such as a minor).
Work with an Experienced Attorney to Protect Your Assets
Are you currently experiencing a probate issue? If you are experiencing
questions or facing litigation, it is important that you contact a knowledgeable
probate attorney in your area. The law offices of Calloway Norris Burdette
Weber & Baxter-Thompson, PLLC are here to help you and your family
secure what is rightfully yours and speed up the sometimes drawn out probate
process. Our staff understands that you may be having a hard time dealing
with the death of your loved one and will try to insure that the process
- whether it involves litigation or not, goes as smoothly as possible.
In all situations that require legal assistance, you will undoubtedly be
looking for the very best to represent you. This approach should apply
to matters of probate and estate administration as well. Facing the loss
of a loved one can be a difficult process, to say the least, and it is
one that requires careful attention to detail. As such, it is extremely
important that you exercise careful consideration when choosing who will
help you with the legal issues involved in the death of a family member
or other loved one.
At Calloway Norris Burdette Weber & Baxter-Thompson, PLLC we have been
practicing probate, estate and trust law for well over 80 years. During
that time we have developed a thorough understanding of the numerous issues
involved in this field of practice. From the most complicated aspects
of the law to the most standard, our clients have utilized our legal expertise
to help them.
Put Our Experience to Work for You
Since 1926, the Dallas based law firm of Calloway Norris Burdette Weber
& Baxter-Thompson, PLLC has been providing legal representation in
probate and estate matters throughout the State of Texas. Our goal is
to resolve probate, trust, estate and guardianship disputes quickly and
efficiently. Because of the emotional and sensitive nature of many of
these disputes we will try to resolve them outside of the courtroom whenever
possible. In all circumstances, we are committed to helping the families
we represent come to a resolution of the matters at hand.
We encourage you to
contact our Dallas office today to learn more.