Dallas-Fort Worth Probate Attorneys
Strategic & Effective Legal Guidance for Families & Individuals
Have you been named the Executor of a will? If so, the assistance of a qualified estate planning attorney will allow you to carry out your duties in a simplified and streamlined manner. Turn to Crain & Wooley to work with our Dallas-Forth Worth probate lawyers to ensure probate is seen through properly and efficiently.
For a free consultation, please call or use our convenient online scheduler to select an appointment time with a probate attorney in Dallas-Fort Worth.
How Does Probate Work?
Probate is the legal process that is necessary to recognize a person’s death and administer their estate. Many people believe that court is reserved solely for disputes – and that is where misunderstanding regarding probate can begin. It is imperative to understand that not every probate involves a dispute or contest. Sometimes the probate process concludes without any disagreement. Disagreement or not, probate guides how assets will pass from a deceased person to their beneficiaries.
There are 8 general steps included in the probate process:
- Filing an application for probate in the county where the decedent lived
- Posting notice of probate at the courthouse
- Validating the will before a judge
- Completing an inventory of all assets
- Identifying beneficiaries of the estate
- Notifying the decedent’s creditors
- Resolving legal disputes
- Distributing the assets
The probate process is either expedited or hindered by the type of will administration outlined in the decedent’s last will and testament.
There are two basic types of will administration in the state of Texas:
- Dependent Administration
- Independent Administration
If a will does not contain specific language outlining the type of estate administration the author desired along with the number of required witnesses and more, then Texas law requires the probate court to provide strict oversight and approve each step of the estate administration process.
Why Do I Need a Probate Attorney in Dallas-Fort Worth?
Most probate courts in Texas usually require an executor to be represented by an attorney in a probate matter. This is usually required because an executor not only represents himself but also the interests of beneficiaries and creditors. Under Texas law, only a licensed attorney can represent the interests of others, which means preparing and filing pleadings in a probate matter without the assistance of counsel would constitute the unauthorized practice of law. While courts allow limited exceptions to this rule, the result is that executors in Texas almost always have to hire an attorney to help them navigate the probate process. For experienced guidance, reach out to a probate attorney in Fort Worth at Crain & Wooley -- we are ready to help you and answer any of your questions.
Contact a Probate Attorney in Fort Worth online or call (972) 945-1610 today to make an appointment.
What Is Muniment of Title under Texas Probate Law?
A Muniment of Title is a simpler type of probate in which an executor need not be appointed to administer the estate. This means that no person has the legal authority to act on behalf of the state.
A will may be probated as a Muniment of Title if the deceased has:
- A valid will
- No debts at the time of their death (exception: a mortgage on their home)
Muniment of Title can be an efficient and affordable method of settling an estate, but it isn’t always the better option. This method of probate is not recommended if there are significant assets in the estate, beneficiaries of the estate are hostile toward one another, there are out-of-state assets, or the estate has significant debts.
Call a Probate Attorney in Fort Worth at Crain & Wooley Today
The probate process contains many variables, which is why you need experienced legal professionals like those at Crain & Wooley to guide you through each phase of the legal process. If you have been named as an executor of a will or administrator of an estate, our Dallas-Fort Worth probate attorneys can help. The legal responsibilities and liability that come with these roles can be overwhelming, but with our advice and extensive resources, you can feel confident your best interests are represented.
What Type of Probate Administration Is Best for Me?
Our compassionate legal team understands that probate can be confusing if you lack a background in this area of law. If you have questions about which type of probate administration is appropriate for your situation, please click here to take our Probate Quiz. After answering a few simple questions, our probate lawyers in Dallas-Fort Worth can determine which process is right for you. Get in touch with Crain & Wooley today to discuss your probate concerns.
Free Consultations With a Probate Attorney
Crain & Wooley knows that a top priority when looking for an attorney is to spend money wisely. We also know there are firms that don’t offer the choice of a free consultation to potential clients. That’s why we want to make it clear upfront that you can spend absolutely nothing except a few minutes of your time in order to get a professional consultation. You’ll get good insight into how we can help before any financial obligation whatsoever.
"Very Professional, Thorough and Good Communicators"Justin and his staff were very professional, thorough and good communicators. They prepared every doc they committed to, and in a timely manner. I like the lump sum fee arrangement. I would definitely recommend them.- Bart Hubbard
"We are so grateful we did this."
We had been wanting to do and understand a trust for a long time. Once we received the meeting invite, the rest was easy. We learned about wills and trusts in an understandable way. Justin and his team are organized, thorough, friendly and helpful. They coordinated and explained each step of the process. We are so grateful we did this. The cost was invaluable. Thank you for everything.- Shelly Torti
"Would Definitely Recommend Crain & Wooley"
We attended a lunch seminar hosted by Shelly Joyner and her team to listen and learn more about our options with Trusts. Based on Shelly's presentation, examples, and knowledge of Trusts, we were sold on Crain & Wooley as the firm to prepare and manage our Trust.
The Crain & Wooley process from start to finish was fast, efficient and very professional. Throughout the progression, both Shelly and Steve Crosby communicated, answered all our questions, and provided various trust documents through the portal for our review /comments.
Would highly recommend the services of Crain & Wooley!!- Paul & Helen Cherry
"Made the Entire Process a Seamless Operation"
Finding a law firm to assist me in creating a "Living Trust" was very confusing. After interviewing three law firms, I chose Crain & Wooley.
They got back to me quickly after the initial consultation and made the entire process a seamless operation.
I highly recommend and will work with Shelly Joyner and Crain & Wiiley again in the future.- Ricky Ellis
"I would return for other legal issues and would highly recommend this firm for legal advice."I am very pleased with the professional services of Crain and Wooley law firm with the trust documents formalized on my behalf. The fees were fair and the result was done in a few weeks. Terms and legal explanations were understood. I would return for other legal issues and would highly recommend this firm for legal advice.- Alex Montanez
"I had a fantastic experience with your law firm and now I can relax!"I had a fantastic experience with your law firm and now I can relax because I have my affairs in order! It was a very easy process, very informative, easy to gather their information and get the awesome result of having all my documents into my trust. Very impressed with the professionalism of Shelly Joiner, Jessica and Steve. I highly recommend this law firm Crain & Wooley for all the estate planning needs. Thank you!- Wanda Echevarria
"Very Thorough In Explaining My Options"Shelly was very thorough in explaining my options in estate planning and reviewing the documents I did have. I appreciate the speed and ease in completing my documents and support in transitioning my home into our living trust.- David Smith
"We Felt Valued, Cared for and Appreciated"It was a pleasure working with Justin Crain, Shelly Joyner, Steve Crosby, and the entire staff at Crain and Wooley. From the moment we walked into their office, we felt valued, cared for and appreciated. Justin took the time to explain to us the benefits of creating a trust and patiently answered all of our questions. My wife and I particularly appreciated their educational emphasis. They provided us with videos and literature that deepened our understanding of the process and purpose of creating a trust. We never felt any pressure during our meetings with them to purchase any legal products or services. They educated us, encouraged us to ask questions, and let us make our own decision. We did decide to create a living trust, and we are very pleased with the results.- William Benninghoff
Finally, you won’t need a lawyer to understand your legal fees. We clearly communicate our pricing structure upfront, so you can feel comfortable with our service from start to finish. No surprises, no hidden fees. *Our flat rate fees apply only to proactive planning services.
Optional Lifetime GuaranteeWith our optional lifetime guarantee, your will and trust will be automatically updated over the years to ensure it stays current with best practices, reflects your current wishes and minimizes future confusion for your family.
Knowledgeable ServiceLaws change all the time. We stay up to date with all the latest information so that you’re covered. No one else in the region is as dedicated or educated in this area of law. We’re the experts so you don’t have to be.