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Don't start the probate administration process empty handed

Making sure that an estate is properly closed out is a burden placed on the assigned executor. It may not seem like a difficult task at first, but things can get overwhelming pretty fast. One way to make probate administration go over smoothly is to go in prepared. This means having all the necessary documentation in hand and ready to go for when the case is opened in a Texas probate court.

Taking inventory is simply an important part of an executor's job. Why? It helps him or her prepare for any issues that might arise during the administration process and ensures that all assets are on the table for distribution to beneficiaries. Without taking inventory of an estate, beneficiaries may end up receiving less than intended, and the executor can be held financially liable if that happens.

Gathering all the necessary documentation required to get through the probate process can take time. This is particularly true if the deceased failed to keep these items together or up to date. There is a lengthy list of documents needed, a few of which include:

  • Will, trust or other estate planning documents
  • Bank, stock, bond statements
  • Life insurance policy
  • Credit card statements
  • Mortgage, car and other loan documents
  • Information about jointly owned property
  • Tax returns

Finding all of this information and making sense of it is not always an easy task. After the executor has found everything, an experienced attorney can help him or her review it and get it all in order so that, when the case goes to a Texas probate court, he or she is ready. Further assistance can also be provided throughout the probate process in order to make sure taxes and creditors are paid and that the rightful beneficiaries receive their inheritances.

Source: thebalance.com, "How to Probate an Estate: Inventory, Documents & Assets", Julie Garber, Accessed on June 15, 2017

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