WHAT IS PROBATE?

Probate is the legal process whereby a court oversees the distribution of assets left by a deceased person. Assets are anything a person owns with value, such as real and personal property and cash, for instance.

Grieving the loss of a loved one is difficult enough without having to also deal with the legalities of their estate. Most people's estates need to go through probate, which is the legal process of settling the estate. If someone dies with a will and has named a personal representative, often called an executor, this person will be responsible for administering the estate. If someone dies without a will or did not appoint a personal representative in the will, the probate court will appoint one.

It is essential to work with an experienced legal team to protect your interests and help you through the estate administration process. The Dallas probate lawyers at The Sartin Law Firm, P.C. understand that the role of an estate administrator can be complex and demanding. Our probate Dallas attorneys are committed to providing thorough, personalized representation through every step of the process. At our law firm, we provide sound counsel and guidance throughout the entire administrative process from the appointment of the executor through the final closing of the estate.

This includes:

  • Preparing the estate – before an estate’s assets can be distributed, it is essential to clear up the estate. Our attorneys will help estate administrators clear titles, satisfy creditors, pay expenses, collect debts and organize the assets of the estate.

  • Determining heirship – with a valid will, the heirs should be determined with clarity. However, some estate plans are not as clear as an estate administrator would hope, and other estates do not have valid wills. The attorneys at The Sartin Law Firm, P.C. have the legal knowledge and experience to determine the appropriate heirs.

  • Distribution of property – distributing the appropriate assets in the correct manner to the estate’s heirs.

  • Probate hearings – representing and helping you throughout the various hearings that can be required throughout the process.

  • Estate tax elections and filings – it is essential to pay any taxes within nine months of the date of death. Our attorneys can help you choose the appropriate elections and file the appropriate tax forms to complete the estate administration process.
  • The trust and estates lawyers in Dallas at The Sartin Law Firm, P.C. represent clients in all manner of probate cases. We provide families and individuals with the legal representation and counsel they need to protect their interests during probate proceedings. In addition, we offer the legal services an individual will need to protect themselves, their assets and provide for their loved ones in the future.

    PROBATE ASSETS vs. NON-PROBATE ASSETS

    Probate Assets
    (Go Though Court)
    Non-Probate Assets
    (Do NOT Go Though Court)
    * Cash/Bank Accounts * Most assets held in trust
    * (They MUST be held in trust's name!)
    * Real Estate* IRAs
    * Investment Accounts, Stocks, Bonds* 401Ks
    * Ownership interests in business entities
    * Assets not held in trust (or trust's name)
    * Personal property, vehicles, jewelry, art, etc..
    * Life insurance with beneficiary designations