Four Important Questions About Probate

When facing the loss of a loved one, the last thing people want to do is take time to learn about the law. Unfortunately, those left behind oftentimes are faced with this reality. These four questions will help you understand where to find important information and help you focus on the issues at hand.

What Country, State or County Did They Live in?

USProbate law is state specific so in most cases the primary residence will control what law applies. That being said, you will need an attorney with knowledge of the specific state laws where your loved one lived.

In Texas, you will not only want to find an attorney that is experienced with state laws, but also familiar with the county where the person lived. While the law will be the same statewide, the procedures may vary somewhat from county to county. So, beginning in the county where the person lived will give you not only the most accurate state advice, but also the likely local procedures.

Is there a Will?

In most states, the procedures available to manage a person’s affairs depend on whether or not the person left a Will. Determining if a Will exists will help reduce the information overload when you begin your quest for information. It will allow you to focus only on those procedures that apply to your situation.

Are Those Left Behind Getting Along?

family_logoAnother key ingredient to how this situation will likely progress is how well those left behind are getting along. If there is a great deal of arguments within the family or different family groups, the process may include one or more legal challenges. Discussing this with an attorney in the beginning will provide you with the most realistic expectation for the process.

Is There an Emergency?

If there is an emergency related to burial, gaining access to the Will or estate assets, be sure and raise these concerns early in the conversation with your attorney. This will ensure you and your prospective attorney are in the best situation to address these needs in a timely manner.

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Law Offices of Debbie J. Cunningham

Debbie Cunningham is an Irving attorney providing affordable estate planning to the Dallas/ Fort-Worth areas. She understands the steps you should take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Debbie is family-focused and wants to ensure her clients are fully informed on the options that are available for their families. Debbie’s own blended family has given her valuable insights into the complexities of family dynamics.

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