Help for Executors
Contact Our McKinney Probate Attorneys
Executors face many tough questions. In many counties in Texas, including
here in Collin County, an attorney is required to help probate the estate
of a deceased person. The executor (called a personal representative in
some states) is the person named in a will or appointed by a court to
wrap up a person’s financial affairs after their death. Basically,
this includes taking care of property, paying bills and taxes, and seeing
that assets are transferred to their new rightful owners.
At Willingham Law Firm, PC, we realize that many people who are named executors
have little to no experience in this role, and may feel overwhelmed. This
is particularly true because certain mistakes may carry legal consequences
for the executor. When you retain our firm, our McKinney probate attorneys
can provide the experienced guidance and legal representation you need
throughout the probate process.
Have you been named the executor of an estate? Call (214) 250-4407 for
skilled representation and experienced guidance.
Step 1: Locate the Will
If a deceased person has left a will, it is the duty of the executor to
present the Will to the court. An executor does not have to serve as an
executor but he must relinquish the will. One of the biggest concerns
is find a will. A will can be hidden in a lot of places. One unusual place
is the freezer. Many years ago attorneys encouraged people to leave their
will in their freezer wrapped in multiple plastic bags. In any event,
the first step is to locate a will. If no will is found, then see a Probate
Attorney for assistance.
Step 2: Secure Property
The biggest theft in this country happens upon the death of a person. Family
members believe that they have a right to the property in the estate.
Children and other family members will ransack a home with little to know
thought about the deceased person wishes to the distribution of the property.
Many people don’t understand that the beneficiaries might not see
any of the testator’s property. Creditors are first priority and
should be paid first.
Step 3: Locate Property
Some people are very private, and it can be difficult to know where their
property is located. Billions of dollars of life insurance has never been
claimed because children or loved ones didn’t know about the policies.
A good place to check for life insurance or other property is bank statements,
as these documents can often help you locate what you need.
Step 4: Get Appointed as the Executor
A will by itself does not appoint a person as an executor. A Judge must
approve the will after it has been “proven up” by the court.
This is the part where an executor might be in trouble of acting as an
attorney. Drafting legal documents for an estate constitutes the practice
of law. For this reason, it is best to hire a skilled McKinney probate
lawyer to assist with this function.
Overwhelmed by the probate process? Call our firm today for your
free case evaluation.
Step 5: Letters of Administration
We still use old terms in law to refer to certain things. One thing that
has not changed is “Letters of Administration,” which are
pieces of paper which state that you are authorized to act in the place
of a deceased person. For example, in order to deed a property to another
person, the owner must sign the deed. If the owner no longer is alive,
an executor will be established and will be given letters of administration
to act in the place of the deceased person.
Step 6: Pay Creditors
An executor is responsible to pay off all creditors before paying the beneficiaries.
Many times creditors will negotiate and settle claims for pennies on the
dollar when a person is deceased. It can be very beneficial to hire a
knowledgeable McKinney probate attorney to assist in this negotiation process.
Step 7: Distribute the Money
Once the previous steps have been completed, all that’s left is to
distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. This isn't as
simple as it seems, as there are regulations and processes you must follow.
Consult with your probate lawyer for guidance through this step.
Don’t Take Chances – Call (214) 250-4407 Today.
The steps listed on this page does not include all of the responsibilities
of an executor, but it should give you an understanding the most important
steps. Being an executor can be an overwhelming process, as there are
many moving parts to deal with in addition to your day-to-day life. For
this reason and many more, it is crucial to retain counsel from an experienced
McKinney probate lawyer who can skillfully guide you through the process.
You’ll find such counsel at Willingham Law Firm, PC. Our lawyers
have a tremendous amount of experience with probate and estate planning,
and take great pride in crafting effective legal solutions on behalf of
our clients. When you retain our firm, you can expect quality legal representation
at every step of the process.
Our firm has handled probate cases for nearly a decade. For skilled legal
contact our firm today.