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Houston Probate Lawyer – Texas Probate Law

Alternatives To Probate

Many people will avoid probate, if at all possible, attempting to sidestep the lengthy court process and many procedures. At Law Office of Troy M. Moore, PLLC, we assist individuals in understanding their options in avoiding probate and handling the estate in other manners.

Texas offers some main alternatives to formally going through probate.

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Judicial determination of Heirship — In situations where an individual has died without a will, the court is left to formally declare heirs and survivors. The court’s decision will be final, and others cannot later petition to be granted heirship. The remaining property will then be divided up among the heirs.

Affidavit of Heirship — When an individual dies without leaving a will, but real estate must be disbursed to heirs and survivors, those heirs can file an affidavit of heirship with the county in which the real estate lies. Two witnesses must sign the affidavit, both having known the decedent, but neither standing to gain on the transfer. By filing the affidavit of heirship, the chain of title is linked to the heir, and he or she is now cleared to sell the land if so chosen.

Small Estate Affidavit — The small estate affidavit is very much like the affidavit of heirship, but in addition to the two witnesses who stand to gain nothing, the affidavit must be signed by all heirs. After this, the ownership will transfer to the heir filing the affidavit. This is only available for estates under $50,000 in assets, including bank accounts and other financial accounts and funds.

Revocable trusts — These trusts are set up in advance of death, and the grantor has the flexibility to change the conditions and terms of the trusts as many times as he or she chooses. When the grantor passes, the trust will pass in the estate, according to the more recent terms.

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The various affidavits and processes related to heirship can come under fire by banks and title companies. Our attorneys possess a deep understanding of these vehicles and will help you take the proper steps to avoid obstacles. Should a dispute arise, we are available to protect your interests in the matter.

To learn more about ways that a lawyer can assist in avoiding probate and streamlining the process of distributing the property of an estate, please contact our Houston, Texas, law firm today at 281-970-8039.