Probates & Estates

When a loved one dies, it is important to talk to a trusted attorney about the transition of property for that loved one.

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It is an an emotional and overwhelming time to lose a loved one, and our compassionate team will help walk you through it with the practical steps necessary.

Check out our After Death Guide here.

Do I Need to Probate?

Maybe! It is important to get a qualified legal opinion on whether you need to probate anytime someone passes away.  If you need to probate, this must happen within four years and may hold up your ability to sell real property if not done timely.

What Happens If my Loved one didn't have a will?

If someone passes away without a Will and has an estate that must be administered, an Applicant will apply to the court to be appointed as the Administrator and ask the Court to determine the heirs under the intestacy laws of the State of Texas.

what happens to their bank account? Will it freeze?

If a bank account does not have a joint owner with right of survivorship, it will freeze upon the single owner's death.  An individual(s) listed as POD (payable on death) beneficiary on the signature card will need to present a death certificate to the bank.  If there is no POD beneficiary, an Estate will likely be necessary.

how can I get the Deed to the house in my name?

This is typically accomplished through the Probate process or through Affidavits of Heirship filed in the real property records are evidence of the ownership transfer based on the Texas intestacy laws.

I'm in a second marriage and my spouse died, who owns the house?

A house purchased during a marriage by a couple  is presumed community property.  If each spouse has kids from outside the marriage, their one-half of the community property belongs in equal shares to their children when they pass away.  The solution to this would be for each spouse to have a validly executed Will that left their ownership of the house to their spouse and the surviving spouse would need to probate their Will within four years of death.

What Happens if I cannot find the original will?

The Original Will must be presented to the Court within three days of filing the Application to probate. If the Original cannot be located, an Application to Probate a Copy of the Will may be filed and has additional service and evidence requirements to prove up the Will to the Court satisfactorily.

get the right answers

Don't let the answers to any of these questions surprise you – meet with an experienced estate attorney at Ishihara & Parker Law Firm PLLC. Let us walk you through the necessary steps to handle the affairs of your loved one.