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What is the purpose of estate administration?

When a loved one passes away, what happens to his or her assets and debts? If a will or trust has been created, there are likely to be specific instructions for beneficiaries to follow in order to take care of these things. If not, it will be up to the court to decide. Regardless, every estate in Texas or elsewhere must go through the estate administration process.

Estate administration is the process of closing and distributing an estate. This usually takes place in probate court; however, there are select few cases that may avoid probate altogether. During the estate administration process, an executor or administrator will be responsible for making sure debts are paid and assets are distributed appropriately.

It is not necessary to have legal counsel present during the estate administration process, but going it alone is not the wisest decision. Estate administration is not always a straightforward affair. This is particularly true if a will is challenged, if creditor or other claims are made against the estate, or a variety of other things pop up that can prolong the process and prevent beneficiaries from collecting what is intended for them.

Texas residents who have lost loved ones and need to get through the estate administration process can seek assistance from an experienced attorney. Whether an estate plan is in place or not, one's legal representative will be able to fight for a fair distribution of assets and ensure that any unnecessary taxes and debts are avoided. While it can take time, with the right help it is possible to close out an estate swiftly and smoothly.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Probate and Estate Administration", Accessed on Feb. 22, 2017

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