Law Office Of Seth K. Bell.

7801 Broadway St.
Suite 230
San Antonio, TX 78209

Call Now For A Free 30 Minute Consultation

(210) 987-3333

Law Office Of Seth K. Bell.

Estate planning is an ongoing process where an experienced attorney assists you with putting in place your financial and healthcare wishes, in order to make sure that they are honored upon your death or your incapacitation. Using the tools that estate planning offers is the most surefire way to ensure that your children, spouse, and other family members or friends are taken care of after your passing.

Probate Vs Estate Planning In San Antonio

While many people use the terms probate and estate planning interchangeably, they are actually not the same process. When a person dies and leaves behind the property that has not been automatically transferred to another person via a trust, joint ownership with a right of survivorship, or another estate planning tool, the property, in Texas, will have to be distributed through the probate process.

Probate is the legal process that takes place when a court formally recognizes a person’s death and validates their will if they have prepared one. The probate judge oversees the payment of the deceased individual’s debts as well as the distribution of their assets. This process of wrapping up the decedent’s final financial affairs and distributing their assets to their heirs is known as probate administration.

If the deceased has drafted a will, the personal representative or executive they named in the will must be the one to file for probate. The general rule in Texas is that the personal representative or executor has four years from the date of the death to file for probate. If this person does not file for probate within this time period, the estate will be treated as if the decedent had died without a will in place.

Probate can take months or even years to complete, but some specific assets can be transferred outside of the process. The whole of these assets makes up the decedent’s non-probate estate. These special assets could include life insurance, pensions, profit-sharing, and 401(k) accounts. Non-probate assets can be transferred directly from the bank holding them to the beneficiaries who are named on the accounts without entering court. Without a qualified San Antonio estate planning attorney to guide you, the Texas probate process can be very intimidating, expensive, and time-consuming.

Estate planning is commonly used to avoid the probate process altogether. A skilled San Antonio estate planning attorney can present to you a plethora of tools and explain which would work the best for you and your unique life circumstances.

Texas Estate Planning And Probate Terms To Know When Communicating With Your Attorney

When you begin to learn about the estate planning and the probate process in Texas, you will likely discover many terms that you are unfamiliar with. Before you contact a San Antonio estate planning attorney to present to you your options, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the definitions of the following common terms:

The Stages Of The Probate Process In San Antonio, Texas

The probate process in Texas is a long, exhaustive, and daunting one. It is highly recommended to seek out the guidance of a San Antonio estate planning attorney to ensure that your loved ones will not be left behind to deal with an overwhelming probate case once you are gone.

The Importance Of Finding An Experienced Estate Planning Attorney In San Antonio, TX

The areas of Texas law that pertain to probate and estate planning are incredibly vast. In addition, they are very much subject to change on a very sudden basis. Not only do you need a San Antonio estate planning attorney to assist you in making sure that all of your documents and plans are compliant with the latest laws, you also need to make sure that they stay that way until your death. It is imperative, once you identify your wishes and craft them into a legally valid estate plan, to continue to work with your San Antonio estate planning attorney throughout the rest of your life. If a law changes that render all or part of your estate plan invalid, you want to be able to quickly realize this the next time you check in with your attorney. Then, you are able to correct it, rather than leaving it to surprise your loved ones after you are gone.

Seth Bell, Leading Probate And Estate Planning Attorney In San Antonio

Attorney Seth Bell of the Law Office of Seth K. Bell has over twenty years of experience under his belt when it comes to passionately attending to the legal needs of people who need high-quality representation. Attorney Bell offers a free consultation with absolutely no obligation to anyone who wishes to begin the estate planning process. Having a legally valid, updated estate plan in place is one of the most thoughtful and meaningful parting gifts you could possibly leave behind for your family and loved ones when your life ends. The Law Office of Seth K. Bell can help you make it a reality today.

Law Office Of Seth K. Bell.

Call Now For A Free 30 Minute Consultation
(210) 987-3333