Standard & Complex Wills

Simplifying Estate Settlement

A last will and testament is probably the most common form of estate planning. A last will and testament is typically a type-written document singed in-front of a Notary Public stating your wishes regarding disbursement of assets. Wills allow you to:

 

  • Designate who receives your assets
  • Designate who will oversee your estate (Executor)
  • Provide for certain life scenarios like a child preceding you in death
  • Ensure the court has record of your last wishes

 

A last will and testament serves to establish basic guidelines for asset distribution. To execute a last will and testament, your Executor must complete the probate process. In the DFW metroplex, the average probate case takes about 6 months to complete and costs about $10,000 in court, attorney, accounting and appraisal fees. In Dallas County, an attorney MUST represent the Executor before the court.

There are 8 general steps included in the probate process:

  1. Filing an application for probate in the county where the decedent lived
  2. Posting notice of probate at the courthouse
  3. Validating the will before a judge
  4. Completing an inventory of all assets
  5. Identifying beneficiaries
  6. Notifying creditors
  7. Resolving disputes
  8. Distributing the assets

Completion of the probate process is often impeded by familial disagreement. Did you know that each time a beneficiary raises a dispute, the probate process stops and a hearing before a judge takes place to resolve the issue. Establishing a trust may help prevent such disputes.

 

Justin and Jacob can help you assess what form of estate planning would accomplish your goals and bring peace of mind to your family. Review Will FAQs and schedule a free, 1-hour consultation!

A traditional last will and testament will still have to go through probate