Estate Planning and Probate Law in Texas


Estate planning and probate law in Texas involve preparing for the management and distribution of an individual’s assets after death. This includes creating wills and trusts and handling probate proceedings.


1. What is estate planning?

   Estate planning involves creating legal documents, such as wills and trusts, to manage and distribute your assets according to your wishes after death.

2. What is a will, and why is it important?

   A will is a legal document that specifies how your assets will be distributed after your death. It is important because it ensures your wishes are followed and can simplify the probate process.

3. What is probate?

   Probate is the legal process of validating a will, appointing an executor, and distributing the deceased person’s assets according to the will or state law if there is no will.

4. What is the difference between a will and a trust?

   A will takes effect after death and goes through probate, while a trust can manage and distribute assets during your lifetime and after death, often without probate.

5. How can I avoid probate in Texas?

   To avoid probate, you can use estate planning tools such as living trusts, joint ownership, payable-on-death accounts, and beneficiary designations.

6. What happens if someone dies without a will in Texas?

   If someone dies without a will (intestate), their assets are distributed according to Texas intestacy laws, prioritizing spouses, children, and other close relatives.

7. Can a will be contested?

   Yes, a will can be contested on grounds such as lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, or improper execution. Contesting a will requires legal proceedings in probate court.