Wills And Probate
Legal Help Probating Or Drafting A Will In Fort Hood, Killeen, Texas
The attorneys of Wm. Barry Phillips, P.C., in Killeen, Texas, draft wills and other estate planning documents. After a family member has died, we help heirs obtain their inheritance as quickly as possible. We also help those named as executor of an estate fulfill all executor duties correctly.
Do I Need A Will?
If you have a bank account, you probably should have a will. If you have children, it is especially important to make your wishes for their care known. A will allows you to:
- Name who you want to inherit your assets
- Preserve your assets for your heirs
- Minimize probate costs and taxes
If you die without a will, the state of Texas will decide where your assets go and who will care for your children. It may cost more to resolve these issues, leaving less for your heirs.
We can also prepare other legal documents such as living wills, health care directives and powers of attorney. These documents state your wishes for your own care and allow you to designate someone to make health care and financial decisions for you if you should become unable to do so yourself.
What Is Probate?
Probate is the legal process of winding up an estate after someone has died. It may involve:
- Filing a probate action in probate court
- Paying final bills and taxes
- Inventorying the estate
- Distributing remaining assets to beneficiaries as named in the will. This involves transferring the title or ownership of assets such as bank accounts, homes, cars and other property to the beneficiary.
Why Would I Need A Probate Lawyer?
There are two important reasons to hire a probate lawyer:
- To get your inheritance: If you are an heir, you may not have access to the deceased person’s assets until the will is probated. That means you may not be able to sell their home or car or access their bank account.
- To avoid a lawsuit: If you are appointed executor of an estate, you could be sued if you don’t properly carry out all the duties of an executor correctly. Tax authorities may also be able to come after you for nonpayment of taxes on the property in the estate if the executor’s duties are not properly handled.