Thomas-Walters provides guidance and expertise for every single circumstance in estate planning. Whether you have an idea of what you need or seek counsel on what is best, we can handle it all for you.
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Preserve Your Legacy
Making Sure Your Final Wishes Are Realized
A last will and testament is probably the most common form of estate planning. A last will and testament is typically a type-written document singed in-front of a Notary Public stating your wishes regarding disbursement of assets. Wills allow you to:
Designate who receives your assets
Designate who will oversee your estate (Executor)
Provide for certain life scenarios like a child preceding you in death
Ensure the court has record of your last wishes
A last will and testament serves to establish basic guidelines for asset distribution. To execute a last will and testament, your Executor must complete the probate process. In North Texas, the average probate case takes about nine months to complete and costs about $10,000 in court, attorney, accounting, and appraisal fees. Furthermore, an attorney MUST represent the Executor before the court.
There are at least eight steps in a typical probate proceeding:
Filing an application for probate in the county where the decedent lived
Posting notice of probate at the courthouse
Validating the will before a judge
Completing an inventory of all assets
Distributing the assets
Additionally, completion of the probate process is often impeded by familial disagreement. Each time someone involved in the probate proceeding raises a dispute, the probate process stops and a hearing before a judge takes place to resolve the issue. Establishing a trust may help prevent such disputes.
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