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Advanced planning can avoid the risk of probate in a Texas court

When it comes to ensuring the final wishes of an individual are properly planned for, the key is clear communication among all that may be involved in the process. If questions remain after the individual's death and more than one person makes a claim for a share of the assets of the deceased, the process in a Texas probate court can be difficult. To avoid the stress brought on by such an ordeal, it is preferable for all the parties to come together while the testator is alive to address any outstanding issues.

Errors can be made in this process both by the beneficiaries and testator in their communication of how they would like their assets to be distributed. To avoid the risk of a serious error taking place, making a thorough contingency plan is essential in ensuring proper administration of the assets. Although this may not eliminate all the risk, it will serve as a solid beginning to an efficient disposition of all the property.

Although a significant amount of planning typically occurs while the testator is still alive, there may also be issues that arise later on. Ensuring that there is enough cash in the estate to pay the final tax bills and other estate expenses are two such issues that should be addressed before a final distribution is made. If this does not occur, there may be a need to liquidate some of the assets, which could cause some issues with the value of each beneficiary's distribution.

The death of a loved one can be a difficult subject to discuss. However, by taking measures to address what will happen after their demise, many of the common mistakes in dealing with the assets can be avoided. No one wants to deal with litigation in a Texas probate court, so it is better to breach this uncomfortable subject now instead of having to deal with future uncertainty.

Source: Fox Business, "Duck Estate-Planning Fiascos Before it's Too Late," Sheyna Steiner, May 13, 2013

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