Dealing with the death of a loved one is an extremely challenging experience. Families in this situation are often left to face numerous hurdles at once—the major emotional loss, the overwhelming and confusing process of handling the loved one's will and assets, and even the conflicts that tend to arise between relatives during this time.
At the Thornton Law Firm, we have a skilled Galveston, Harris and Brazoria Counties probate lawyer who provides legal support to individuals and families during these difficult times. In fact, our attorney even helps clients get their official documents in order so they make the probate process simpler for their families in the future.
Whatever your probate needs and challenges are, we are here to help! At our law firm, you will get to work with a compassionate attorney who has extensive trial experience, which is especially helpful if you are dealing with a probate litigation matter. We assist clients with the areas listed below.
Preparation of wills - You should take action early to make sure that your will and other estate planning documents are properly drafted. By creating a will, you create a legally-binding document that specifies how you want your assets divided and distributed after you pass on. This helps protect your assets and the future financial stability of your loved ones, and it helps reduce the likelihood of disputes between family members and other parties. Wills can also establish important decisions, such as guardianship over dependents.
Will contests - A will contest occurs when one party challenges the legal validity of a will. When this happens, the probate court must hear the case and determine whether or not the will can be executed as is. A few common examples of claims that are raised in will contest litigation include undue influence (such as manipulation by a caregiver), lack of sound mind by the testator, and inheritance disputes, fraud claims, and debt claims.
Probate of wills - After a person passes away, his or her will (if one exists) needs to be validated in the probate court before it can be executed (or before any assets can be distributed to the heirs). If the will was well-drafted and there are minimal issues that need to be resolved, then the probate process might not take that long. In other cases, however, there may be more complex issues that have to be addressed, such as will contests, the sale of real estate property, debtor claims, etc. A skilled attorney can help you handle any obstacles that arise in the probate process!