After the death of a loved one, family members left behind will have the responsibility of settling his or her estate. The person designated to oversee this potentially complex process is the executor, often named specifically in the decedent’s will. This is an immense responsibility, and anyone in Texas tasked with settling and closing the estate will benefit from an explanation of what to expect and what will be required to complete the process.
The steps to settling an estate
The executor will oversee the process of paying off remaining debts, settling affairs, distributing assets according to the will and eventually closing the estate. Some of the steps that may be necessary to resolve all estate-related matters include the following:
- Location and verification of the will
- Filing appropriate paperwork with the court
- Notifying creditors
- Paying off remaining debts and outstanding taxes
- Locating and valuing estate assets
- Distributing assets according to the terms of the will
The probate process can take a few months to complete, or it can take years. The length of time it will take depends on the complexity of the estate and other factors, such as disputes between heirs.
Help for the executor and others
It can be a legally challenging process to settle the estate of a loved one. An executor and other interested parties may benefit from the assistance of an experienced Texas estate attorney as they move forward. An assessment of the specific estate and other factors can provide insight regarding what to expect from probate.