Probate Options

Dallas probate attorney

If you have a loved one who died, you are probably trying to figure out what your options are.  What do you need to do?  When do you need to do it?  And do you need to hire a probate attorney?

There are quite a few options.  To help you understand what option might work in your case, we have prepared a series of videos that explain some of the more common options.

1.  Uncontested Probates 

These are probate cases where there are no family disputes.

These are the two standard options:

Probate of Will (Testate Probate) – This is a full probate when there is a will. It is used when there are significant debts, a financial institution that requires it, a family dispute, a minor who inherits property, etc.

Probate When No Will (Intestate Probate) – This is a full probate when there is no will. It is used when there are significant debts, a financial institution that requires it, a family dispute, a minor who inherits property, etc.

This is a good alternative to a full probate when there is a will:

Muniment of Title – this is an abbreviated probate process.  It is used when there is a will and no debts.

This option can help if you need to act fast:

Temporary Administration – This is an emergency proceeding if there is an immediate need for someone to protect property, etc.  This is in advance of doing a full probate, which is covered in one of the links below.

Here are a few other possibilities that can work in the right circumstances:

Order of No Administration – This is for insolvent estates that pass to surviving spouses and/or dependent children.  It is not all that common.  It is in lieu of doing a full probate.

Affidavit of Heirship – This is an alternative to probate.  It provides title to real estate only.  It is not a court proceeding.  It is merely a filing in the real estate records.

Small Estate Affidavit – This is also an alternative to probate.  It is used for estates that have less than $75K of assets and there was no will.

2.  Contested Probates 

These are cases where there is a dispute with a family member or other party.

Personal Representatives – these contests involve disputes over who serves as the personal representative or how they handed the estate.

Will Contests – these contests involve false or forged wills or wills that are not valid.