Probating a Will, Pyke and Associates Dallas, Texas Probate Lawyers  


Probate

What does it Cost?

The legal fees depend on who you hire. The law offices of David M. Pyke will probate most wills in Dallas County for $950 (if the will is self-proving and excluding any expenses related to preparing and filing an inventory).  Begin the Probate process.

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Probating A Will
What is Probate?

In Texas, Probate is the simple step of having a court review the  decedent's will and appointing the person named in the will, the executor, to manage the decedent's estate.

Probating a Will in Texas Probating a Will in Texas
Begin the Probate process, or read on for further information.


Is Probate difficult?
Why should the will be
probated?
Is anything else necessary to finalize the estate?
In a nutshell, NO! Texas Probate can be simple and inexpensive. The basic steps of probating a will are:
  1. Filing an application for
    probate with the court

  2. The will gets filed with the application

  3. One hearing to probate the  will and appoint an executor

  4. Filing an inventory of the
    decedent's assets

In Texas, with a properly drafted will, probate is neither time consuming nor expensive

It isn't possible, in most cases, to wrap up a decedent's estate without probating the will. By probating the will, the executor is given authority to act in place of the decedent, to sell the decedent's property, and to distribute it.

Even if all of the beneficiaries agree how to distribute and sell the decedent's assets, they usually will not be able to close mutual funds, sell real estate, or gain access to bank accounts without someone being appointed executor.

Most of the work of the estate is done by the executor without the assistance of a lawyer or interference from the court.

The executor can hire accountants and lawyers to represent him to aid and advise him, but that isn't necessary in simple estates. Legal advice is often sought in selling real property or settling any claims against the estate. An accountant is usually needed to prepare final tax returns for the decedent.

When should I probate
the will?
Can't I avoid probate?
What if the original will
can't be found?
As soon as you can. The quicker you begin the process, the quicker the executor will have the authority to begin to wrap up the estate.

If you need access to bank
accounts to pay expenses and debts, you need to move quickly.

If you wait too long, it will cost you! You can't probate a will, without additional expense, after four years after the decedent's death. So, waiting isn't a good idea.
Why avoid probate? If probate isn't expensive and does everything legally necessary to wrap up estate, why avoid it? There are some short-cut procedures, but if you can probate the will you should.

Once probated, the executor can do everything to wrap up the estate -- no limits! No "short-cut" procedure can do that.

Can I do it myself?  If it is so simple, why hire an attorney?  For two reasons:  First, it is relatively simple if you have done it hundred of times like our office.  Second, often courts will not allow someone to proceed without an attorney to open an estate administration. 

 

 

 

If you cannot find the original will, you may be able to probate a copy of the will. You will have to provide to the Court some reasonable explanation as to what happened to the original and some proof that the copy is accurate. Make sure to look everywhere before trying to probate a copy. You should check with the lawyer who drafted the will, safe deposit boxes, etc. before trying to probate a copy of the will. If you don't know the lawyer's name, look in the decedent's financial records and try to find a paid check or bill from the lawyer. If the will is really lost, contact our offices for further direction.

12655 North Central Expwy., North Central Plaza I, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75243
(214) 866-0133 • Fax: (214) 866-0433 • email: David M. Pyke
Copyright 2003-2009 -- David M. Pyke