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.

Estate Administration
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 of probate.

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 involving estates.

Guardianship
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 necessary.

Trust Litigation
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.

Trust Administration
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 testamentary trust).

Will Contests
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.