Wills, Probate, & Estate Planning
We represent and protect the rights and interest of decedents, heirs, and beneficiaries which includes will preparation, will review, heirships, trusts, living wills, durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney and more.
It is more than just property but your ASSETS that you EARNED or INHERITED, so it is important to LEARN HOW to GATHER them, COLLECT them, MAINTAIN them & PROTECT them!
--TM Hogan-Claiborne, Esq.
The Shocking Truth about Who Gets Your Kids, Your House, Car, and Money When You Die
By: TaQuita M. Hogan-Claiborne, Esq.
It’s the law. If you die without a will, your house, your car, your kids, your money and everything else you own will go where you may not want it.
What does that mean? That your wife or husband may not get everything or may not get anything! Or that your kids may compete with your parents for your property. Or that the State of Texas, instead of your favorite charity, may get it all.
If your children are small (and your spouse has passed before you), the State will choose their guardian. And what if you don’t want a child or a cousin (yes, it can happen) to get what you’ve taken years to achieve? It’s too bad-there’s nothing you can do!
What else can happen when you don’t have a will? A real mess! Bad feelings between your spouse and your kids. Or between your spouse and your parents. A “will” that you never wrote may “suddenly” appear, making your family miserable-but some lawyers very happy.
I know thinking about a will is upsetting. It means admitting we won’t be around forever, accepting we are mortals. Death affects us in many ways. It never is timely. Death confronts the family with bereavement, with the need to readjust emotionally and financially, and often with an unknown future. This is why many people put off making a will, sometimes until it’s too late. But, by then it’s no longer up to them.
If you own anything-a car, a house, bank accounts or jewelry-and care about your family-you should have a will.
Let me begin with an explanation of what happens to the property of a person in Texas who has a will at the time of their death. That person, through his or her will, have left evidence of how he or she wishes his or her estate to be distributed, and will have named an “executor,” a person designated to be in charge of carrying out those wishes. In a process known as an “independent administration,” the executor will attend a short hearing at the probate court to “prove up “ the will, accomplished by showing the court the will document and answering some basic questions. They will then receive “letters testamentary” that allow them to manipulate the estate holding so that they may gather the assets of the estate, pay the debts of the estate, and distribute the remainder in the manner detained in the will. Finally, the executor will file an “inventory” detailing their activities. This is a simplified version of the probate process, but these are essentially the steps involved. If the estate is complicated, the estate can reasonably compensate the executor for their time and expenses.
Now, I know you are wondering what happens to your property if you die without a will?
Well, let me break it down for you. When someone dies without a will, the state of Texas has a form of will for him or her. In a process know as “dependent administration,” Texas statutes and laws determine how such estate will be distributed. Thereby, if you have not left instructions on how you want your estate distributed and who will administer or supervise that process, the probate court will supervise the process. Each step of the gathering of assets, payment of debts, distribution of remaining assets, and other details of administration of the estate will need to be formally presented for the judge’s approval. This could incur costs to the estate in the administrative process and the delays in distributing the estate proceeds to the children and heirs.
Or if he has surviving family members, someone must assume responsibility of administering and distributing without any instructions or directions and with little or no regard to the deceased wishes.
Wills, Probate, & Estate Planning Price List
Evaluate/Draft Last Will & Testament -----------------$ 600.00
(Includes the following)
Evaluate/Draft Self Prove Affidavit -
Evaluate/Draft Schedule of Assets-
Evaluate/Draft Insurance/Pension Data-
Evaluate/Draft Document Locator Form -
Evaluate/Draft Notification List -
Evaluate/Draft Funeral Requests -----------------
---ADDITIONAL ESTATE PLANNING SERVICES---
Evaluate/Draft Living Will $ 300.00
Evaluate/Draft DPA for Medical/Health Care POA (Proxy) $ 300.00
DPA/Durable General Power of Attorney $ 300.00
HIPPA Medical Information Release$ 300.00
Advance Health Care Directive$ 500.00
Deed Transfer $ 250.00
Living Revocable Trust (individual) $1500 to1800
Living Revocable Trust (multiple parties) $2000 to 2500
Irrevocable Insurance Trust $2100.00
Heirship Proceedings $1200 to 2100
Probate Proceedings $2500.00 to 10,000.00