Dear Clients and Friends –
I am often asked, “What will happen to my estate if I die without a will?” Attached is a chart which shows how the State of Texas will allow for the distribution of your estate if you do not have a will.
And how, you may ask, do you have all these real property and personal property items transferred into your name? – there are many answers and all result in negotiation or a trial. A negotiated family settlement agreement is a compromise. A trial results in a ruling by the court.
A person in possession of an original will is liable and obligated to deliver it to the clerk of the county in which the deceased person resided and died – within four years of the date of death – sooner is better, of course.
If a will does not exist, then a person who believes he/she is a legal heir may “open administration” in the probate court of the county in which the person resided at the time of his/her demise, and request that the court make a determination of the identity of each legal heir and the share of the estate to which each legal heir is entitled. In some cases other options are available.
There is no requirement that a lawyer be employed, but it has been my experience from many recitations from unhappy heirs that they believe they should have employed a good lawyer to protect their interests and achieve their goals more expeditiously.
I invite you to call me if I may be of service to assist you with your estate planning, and with the probate of the estate of your deceased loved one.
Amy Rose Oliver
Attorney at Law