When a last will and testament is in place when I person dies, it must often go through the probate process in order to properly transfer assets the deceased person's beneficiaries. Probate of a will in Texas facilitates the transfer of assets to the beneficiaries named in the will, and can be a lengthy and costly process with expenses coming straight out of any potential inheritance. Having legal representation by an experienced probate attorney assists executors and heirs with the administration of the estate, resulting in a more efficient management of the probate process. This includes ensuring the acceptance by the Court of the last will and testament, inventorying all of the decedent's assets, paying all lingering expenses and debts, and assisting in the distribution of any remaining assets and property to listed beneficiaries.
At Blazier, Christensen, Browder & Virr, P.C. , our attorneys pride themselves on a longstanding dedication to their fellow citizens of Austin and Central Texas. Our firm combines that commitment with a thorough knowledge of probate law and the Texas probate system and a genuine compassion for our clients.
If a decedent did not leave a will, the probate court will also serve to determine the rightful heirs under the Texas laws of descent and distribution. After doing so, the probate court usually appoints a personal representative of the decedent to gather the assets, pay debts and distribute any remaining property and assets to the heirs.
We are experienced in handling a variety of probate matters including:
- Uncontested probate of a written will
- Applications to determine heirs and administration of estates
- Contested wills
- Trust litigation and breach of trustee fiduciary duty
- Trust perpetuity litigation
- Estate administration
GIFT AND ESTATE TAX PLANNING
While, as they say, nothing is certain but death and taxes, it's still frustrating knowing your loved ones could be charged a gift tax and/or estate tax for things you may give to them in your will or trust.Many times, when seeking to manage an estate, the owner will give away property and cash prior to death in the form of a "gift". When gifting exceeds $14,000 per individual in one calendar year (for the year 2016), the recipient is subject to a gift tax. As always, there are exceptions (gifts to a charitable organizations or a spouse) and an experienced attorney can help identify those.
Likewise, an estate tax is levied directly against the estate between the time a person passes away and the time the beneficiaries receive their inheritance. Taxable property includes cash in the bank, business interests, real estate, life insurance and any other assets you own. While considerably more complicated than gift tax exclusions, there are many legal ways to reduce your estate tax through means such as trusts, available tax deductions, and other methods. Allow the seasoned lawyers at Blazier, Christensen, Browder & Virr, P.C., to determine the best way to protect your assets and take care of your family.Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that your beneficiaries get the most out of your gifts and their future inheritance.
Experienced Central Texas Attorneys
From offices in Austin, our lawyers advise and represent clients in communities throughout Travis County, Caldwell County, Bell County, McLennan County, Hays County, Williamson County and Bastrop County in Central Texas. Call us at512-476-2622 or contact us by email to arrange an initial consultation with one of our experienced Austin estate planning attorneys.