The time following the death of a family member is always difficult. It becomes even harder if your loved one left you with an estate to manage. If you find yourself in this situation, you don’t have to go through the estate settlement process in Texas by yourself.
Manage the funeral and memorial first
Your first order of business following a family member’s passing is to notify extended family members, obtain the death certificate and plan the funeral process. Determining what to do with your loved one’s personal effects and the rest of their estate can wait. Immediately after a death when your mind is muddled is not the time to worry about what your family member did with their estate planning process.
Easing the estate settlement process
In legal terms, an estate is the sum of a person’s belongings and wealth. If your loved one left a will and you are the executor, you’ll have to follow your loved one’s wishes as spelled out in the document. For example, even though your loved one may have specified how much money goes to certain people, you simply can’t go to the bank and take out the money. It must be done legally, and for that to happen, you should contact an experienced attorney to help you through the process.
If your loved one left any debt, the estate is legally responsible to pay those debts before any inheritance can be paid to those named in a will. In some instances, you may have to go through small estate or traditional probate depending on the size of the estate. However, proper estate planning by your loved one before their death could make the process easier than you think. The advice of an experienced estate attorney may also make settlement easier.