Probate and Estate Administration
When a person dies, surviving family members are faced with making a number of significant decisions that are necessary in order to properly manage and to transfer property of the decedent to his or her intended beneficiaries under a Will or a Trust or pursuant to the laws of descent and distribution. These actions and related choices must be made during periods of sadness and anxiety.
The administration of a decedent’s estate typically requires the surviving family members to take certain legal action. Competent counsel from the outset of that process is usually critical in order for the decedent’s wishes to be carried out and for property to be preserved and ownership legally transferred.
Meet our Team
Attorneys in our firm can assist clients in determining the most efficient and cost-effective method to be used in administering an estate pursuant to a Will, a Trust Agreement, or in accordance with the state law of intestacy when there is no valid Will or Trust.
Estate Administration will involve the preparation of legal documents, action being taken in the appropriate Probate or County Court, and sending and filing various notices to advise others of the steps being taken. The delay or failure to take proper steps to administer an estate and transfer property can result in increased expenses or lead to disputes in the future.
Our attorneys, who provide counsel with probate matters, can assist clients in interpreting Wills, Trusts, Deed, and Leases. These attorneys have extensive experience in the areas of estate and trust administration and have knowledge in order to help individual and corporate exactors and trustees comply with the fiduciary and practical duties of their appointments.
Attorneys with Cotten Schmidt, L.L.P. can also handle all matters in the Probate and County Courts in Texas relating to estate administration, and as needed, advise client regarding matters in other states relating to an ancillary estate administration. Our attorneys have also represented beneficiaries and personal representatives in litigation associated with alleged breaches of fiduciary duty by a decedent’s personal representative or Trustee.
Typical Estate Administration procedures can include:
- Preparation and filing applications to Probate a Will;
- Hearing before a Probate for County Court Judge;
- Independent Administration through the issuance of Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration (with or without a Will);
- Dependent (Court supervised) Administration);
- Filing a Will as Muniment of Title;
- Affidavit of Heirship;
- Funding Testamentary Trusts with Probate Assets;
- Preparation, reviewing and filing of state and federal estate tax returns;
- Preparation of accountings; and
- Administration of Management Trusts.
Cotten Schmidt, L.L.P.’s attorneys are available to meet with individuals to provide preliminary consultation relating to estate administration questions and issues. The initial consultation will be without charge unless our firm is formally retained to provide legal representation.