Probate can sometimes be a complicated, lengthy and expensive process for all parties involved. When disputes and inconsistencies arise with a decedent’s estate during the probate process, Texas probate court can become a difficult and exhausting experience thanks to several common probate problems.
Fortunately, many of these common problems encountered during probate can be solved as quickly as possible with the help of an experienced El Paso probate attorney.
The following are eight of the most common problems that our clients have experienced during probate, and are all issues with which we are well-versed in handling:
Texas law provides a method by which a person can change the terms of their Will. For example, a testator can execute a new Will or a condicil to an existing Will. And, in some cases a beneficiary who does not want their part of the estatemay disclaim their inheritance.
If a will is believed to not be authentic or a forgery, the person who created it lacked the proper mental capacity at the time of writing or it was created under duress, a will can be contested. This also applies to instances of fraud. Proving a will is authentic on your own can be incredibly difficult and is best accomplished with the help of an experienced probate attorney.
Joint Inheritance Disagreements
Fights between siblings and other heirs over the status of undivided property can tear families apart. Proper estate planning can help to prevent family feuds over property by carefully outlining plans for estate distribution and helping to reduce the amount of time the estate spends in probate.
If international property is involved in an estate passed on to a beneficiary, laws where the property is located must also be considered during probate. This can become incredibly complicated very quickly, and is best left to an experienced probate attorney to help solve.
Estate Assets Cannot be Found
Depending on a variety of circumstances, the executor of a will may struggle to locate parts of the decedent’s assets in order to properly fulfill the executor’s obligations and duties. A probate attorney can use legal tools and processes to track down bank accounts, real estate, and other assets that may or may not have been included in the will.
The Person Named as Executor is Unable or Unwilling to Fulfill Their Role
When a testator writes a will, they usually name another individual to preside over their estate after death and oversee probate. When the executor cannot (or will not) perform this duty, however, the court will check to see if the Will names a successor executor and the successor will likely be named to fulfill the duties of executor.
However, if the Will does not name a successor and the named executor cannot or will not serve, the court will appoint a personal representative or estate administrator to fulfill the duties that the chosen executor would have otherwise.
Alternatively, a probate attorney can help provide legal counsel towards an otherwise wary or unsure executor to ensure that the will is honored in its entirety.
The Executor is Not Performing Their Job Properly
Any chosen executor has the opportunity to turn down the role if they feel that they cannot or should not have a say in the division of estate amongst heirs and beneficiaries. In some cases, however, an executor will choose to take on this role without realizing the gravity of their responsibilities.
As a result, they may lapse in their duties and court intervention may be required to remove the appointed executor and appoint a new executor or administrator.
Contact an Experienced El Paso Probate Attorney
Under some circumstances, the probate period can be a stressful and chaotic experience for both the executor of the estate and the family of the deceased to handle. Even the most commonplace of problems can see like a major impediment to resolving probate and moving on. Fortunately, we are here to help.
Forbes and Forbes is dedicated to ensuring that regardless of your circumstances, we will help you see it through with as little complication as possible. To ensure the best possible outcome while navigating the probate process, contact an attorney experienced in probate law to help you through this sometimes stressful life event.