Estate Administration And Independent Administration Processes In Texas

Following the passing of a loved one, you may be overwhelmed with personal, financial and legal concerns. For many, the administration process is just one of many hurdles to overcome. In Texas, however, this is a very important process, and we can help you through it.

Guiding You And Your Family Following A Death

At Avera Law Firm, P.L.L.C., we understand what you are going through. Let our skilled attorney handle the details so you can concentrate on facing the future. The following should give you some understanding of the legal issues that must be addressed whether or not your loved one set up an estate plan or a will.

What Is An Estate?

When a loved one dies, he or she leaves behind an estate. An estate consists of the property, both real and personal, which that person owns at the time of death. Each item must be accounted for, and many will need to go through the administration process.

  • Real property includes land and improvements located on the land. Real property also includes oil, gas and other mineral interests.
  • Personal property is all property other than real property, including cash and bank accounts, clothing and personal effects, household furnishings, motor vehicles, stocks and bonds, life insurance policies, and government, retirement and employee benefits.

What Happens During The Estate Administration Process?

During the estate administration process in Texas, the person or people appointed by the court or the decedent's estate planning documents must perform a number of duties, including:

  • Collecting the decedent's assets
  • Assessing the value of real estate owned at the time of death
  • Paying debts and claims against the estate
  • Paying estate taxes, if any
  • Determining who the heirs are if the decedent died without a will
  • Distributing the estate per the instructions in the will, trust and other legal documents

Titles to certain properties pass to the beneficiaries immediately upon death. However, the court must be involved to protect the rights of beneficiaries or heirs-at-law and creditors of the estate. Each step of the process requires detailed documentation, and the executor or administrator must seek court approval before completing or commencing duties.

What Is Independent Administration?

Texas is one of the few states that provides for independent administration — an administration process free of court supervision. Independent administration can help the family avoid the costs and delays associated with court-supervised estate administration.

We Will Help You Through The Administration Process

This information is merely the tip of the iceberg. For a free, no-obligation initial consultation with our experienced lawyer, call Avera Law Firm, P.L.L.C., at 512-615-3578 or send us an email. We serve clients throughout the Austin, Texas, area and maintain offices in Austin and Dripping Springs.