The Clear Lake probate attorneys at the law firm of Badeaux & Associates have 45 years of combined experience in probate and estates. We are here to help with all aspects of the Texas probate process. Our probate attorneys are based in Clear Lake, but we practice in the probate courts for decedent’s who died in Harris County, Galveston County or Brazoria County.
Below are answers to some of the most common questions we hear from Executors and trustees. Please call our probate attorneys located in Clear Lake (281) 486-4737 or contact us online to find out how we can help you!
Q: What is an Executor?
A: An Executor is an individual appointed to administer the estate of a deceased person whether they died with or without a Will. The Executor’s main duty is to carry out the instructions and wishes of the deceased. The Executor is appointed either by the individual in their Last Will and Testament or by a court. If the decedent died without a Will, Texas Probate Code Section 77 lists priorities for Executors based on the relationship of the person to the decedent. Generally, this person is called “Administrator” and their role is similar to Executor. Our probate attorneys in Clear Lake have represented thousands of Executors, Trustees and Administrators and helped them through each step of the probate process. Many of the Executors, Trustees and Administrators live in Clear Lake, League City, Friendswood, Pearland, Kemah, Seabrook, Dickinson, Deer Park, Pasadena, and surrounding cities, but some of our Executors, Trustees and Administrators live outside the state of Texas or in other countries.
Q: What are the Executor’s duties?
A: The Executor is responsible for administering the deceased person’s estate. The Executor is to gather, maintain and value the assets. Legal documents have to be filed in the probate courts in a timely manner. Most executors lack the time and resources to personally administer the estate; therefore, they hire legal and accounting professionals. Some debts, taxes and final expenses have to be paid. Ultimately any remaining assets must be distributed in accordance with the Will or intestate laws of Texas if decedent died without a Will.
Q: How does Badeaux & Associates assist Executors?
- Get the Executor formally appointed
- Obtain Letters Testamentary for the Executor
- Timely file all required court documents and notices
- Attend court hearings for the Executor
- Gather and value estate assets
- Reduce potential personal liabilities of the Executor
- Determine legitimate debts
- Handle creditors
- Manage beneficiaries
- Assist in preparing the estate inventory
- Assist with sale or transfer of real estate
- Distribute assets
- Obtain releases from beneficiaries
- Interpret trust provisions
- Establish the trusts provided for in the Will
Q: Does the Executor have to go to court?
A: There is generally only one court appearance required for the Executor. For that hearing, our probate attorneys Joanne Badeaux or Shelby Perrin can drive you to court. If you do not want to attend the hearing, the attorneys may be able to attend the hearing on your behalf. Many of our clients live in Clear Lake, League City, Friendswood, Pearland, Kemah, Seabrook, Dickinson, Deer Park, Pasadena, and surrounding cities, but some of our clients live outside the state of Texas or in other countries.
Q: What is a Trust?
A: A trust is an arrangement in which one person holds the property of another for the benefit of a third party, called the beneficiary. For example, a trustee for minor children named in a Will would manage the assets for the children if the parents are deceased. Badeaux & Associates will advise you of the mechanics of setting up a trust for the child or beneficiary and transferring assets to the trust. When a trust is formed, Badeaux & Associates obtains the tax identification number. The trust is required to file a tax return every year. The tax return is an accounting for the beneficiary.
A trustee is a fiduciary of the trust beneficiary. A fiduciary is legally bound to act within the confines of the law and the best interest of the beneficiary. Trustees must fulfill the terms of the trust which address such matters as when and how the trust property will be given to the beneficiary and the kinds of transactions the trustee may conduct with the trust property.
Q: After a grantor of a living trust passes away, what are the duties of the surviving trustee of the Revocable Living Trust?
A: Revocable Living Trusts are private documents and do not have to be filed in probate court. However, there are still necessary steps the trustee must follow. The beneficiaries must be contacted; assets must be gathered, valued and managed; potential creditors must be notified; debts, taxes and final expenses must be paid; and, ultimately, any remaining income and assets must be distributed in compliance with the trust terms. Trustees often lack the time, resources or knowledge to personally administer the trust, and therefore may call upon legal, accounting and investment professionals for assistance. Badeaux & Associates can help you with these complexities.
Contact Our Probate Attorneys Located in Clear Lake TODAY
Speak with an experienced probate lawyer today if you loved one passed away in Harris County, Galveston County or Brazoria County at (281) 486-4737. We are here to help answer any questions you have and provide you with the legal advice that you need! Many of our clients live in Clear Lake, League City, Friendswood, Pearland, Kemah, Seabrook, Dickinson, Deer Park, Pasadena, and surrounding cities, but some of our clients live outside the state of Texas or in other countries.