Probate Glossary

Probate of Wills:

The probate of a Will is the legal process of having a court enter an order recognizing the Will as a valid, binding document and officially appointing the executor for the estate to carry out the terms of the Will.

Trust Distributions:

Trust distribution involves working with the trustee of a trust to carry out the distributions as provided in the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Funding of Estate Tax Shelter Trusts:

If a decedent's estate is above the taxable threshold, their estate plan may have involved passing part of their assets into an estate tax shelter trust. There may be decisions to make regarding the amount of funding and the source of funding.

Affidavit of Heirship:

An Affidavit of Heirship is a document prepared to be filed in the Deed Records to deal with the transfer of real estate when there is no Will.

Court Administration of Estates:

When a person dies without a Will and an administration is required on the estate, Texas law provides for court supervision of the administration. This is a somewhat complicated process and the estate may incur significant time and expense in a court supervised administration. In most cases, a properly drawn Will would prevent a court supervised probate.

Transfer of Assets to Heirs:

Transfer of assets to the beneficiaries of an estate may involve real estate transfers, stock transfers, liquidation of assets, transfers of personal property and vehicles. The probate attorney will work with the executor or administrator of the estate to assist in these transfers.

Estate Tax Returns:

If an estate is above the taxable limit, a federal estate tax return and a Texas inheritance tax return is required to be filed within nine months from the date of death. We work with the executor or their CPA to prepare and file the estate tax return. A federal estate tax return is an extremely lengthy return and can be a somewhat complicated process.