Why You Want to Avoid Probate and How to Do It

Avoiding Texas Probate

Valuable Information from the Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen

So you've seen advertisements from lawyers or others telling you they can help you with avoiding Texas probate when planning your estate. You may not know what the probate process, why you want to avoid it, or how to do that. This page will help you understand why you want to avoid probate, as well as the different strategies you can take to avoid the process. To learn about other probate issues, see our pages on

the probate process

• the rights and responsibilities of an estate administrator

• how you can preserve estate assets during estate administration

• what to do if you are involved in a will contest or estate litigation

At Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to people with questions or concerns about probate. To schedule an appointment, contact our office or call us at one of the numbers listed below.

Why You Want to Avoid Probate

There are two very good reasons to avoiding Texas probate: it costs money and it takes time.

The financial cost : There are filing fees for taking an estate through probate. In addition, most attorneys who handle estate administration take a flat fee based on a percentage of the value of the assets, usually from 4 to 7 % of the estate value.

The time involved: When you submit an estate to probate, the executor has a number of duties to perform and the court must oversee and ratify all acts of the executor. As a result, the probate process can take months or years to complete.

How to Avoid Probate

If you have established the distribution of your property through the use of a will, the will must be probated. To avoid probate, you want to transfer your property through other means, including the use of a trust, the re-titling of assets, or through lifetime gifts.

With a trust, you create a new legal entity into which you transfer property. The new legal owner (the trust) grants you certain rights with respect to the property. Upon your death, the property stays in the trust. Because nothing has transferred and no one needs to determine who owns the property, it does not need to go through probate.

Many people will choose to set up ownership to assets jointly, including bank or financial accounts, homes and other property. Upon death, all right and title that you held immediately transfers to the other joint owners. As such, it does not pass through probate.

Any property given away as a lifetime gift is no longer an asset of the estate, and does not pass through probate.

Contact Bailey & Galyen

Contact us or call our office at one of the numbers listed below to schedule a free initial consultation.