Closing a Texas estate can come with many complications. The executor of the estate will have a number of responsibilities to handle during this time, and without the right information, this person could face more difficulties in an already trying process. Fortunately, if an individual knows that he or she will take on this role, preparing before the loved one's passing may be useful.
Perhaps one of the most emotional and tedious jobs a Texas family has is cleaning out a home after a loved one dies. This may be especially true if the loved one was sentimental and held on to countless trinkets and other memorabilia. While it may be tempting to bag it all up and toss it on the curb for trash or recycling, handling the situation in this manner may create serious problems, especially for the estate executor or personal representative.
Preparing and maintaining an updated will is one of the best things a person can do for his or her family. People who have assets and want to have them distributed in a specific manner after their death will need to layout their requests in a will. In Texas and elsewhere, over 30 percent of adults procrastinate about creating a will or any sort of estate plan.
Studies show that debt among senior Americans is higher than ever before. Over one half of seniors will die with less than $10,000 in assets, according to the National Bureau of Economics. In Texas and other states, a higher percentage of seniors retire with a mortgage and credit card debt. When a family member passes away, is the estate responsible for any outstanding debt that may be left behind?
A marriage that lasted over 28 years to a titan of technology ended after the husband suffered a stroke and died at the age of 75. Stunned and shocked and finding it hard to fathom, the widow and her two stepchildren entered into an estate battle with a major financial institution that would last for almost eight years. In Texas and other states, a property can be held in financial limbo when a person dies without a will.
Worldly possessions handed down to heirs may be subject to an estate tax, also known as the death tax. Some states and the federal government charge this tax based on the value of a property after an owner's death. It does not apply to every estate, and most never end up paying it. In Texas, an estate may be exempt from paying any death tax depending on its value.
Texas residents may have heard about the significant verdict coming out of a Dallas probate court regarding the estate of Max Hopper. The multi-billion-dollar verdict was awarded to Mr. Hopper's heirs after they claimed the executor failed to administer the estate appropriately. While a jury may have sided with the deceased family, this case is far from over.
Mental keenness begins to gradually decline after age 60, but most seniors do not realize that it is even happening. Studies show that as a person ages, the ability to complete complicated tasks weakens, especially with financial management. In Texas, it is important to begin speaking with senior parents about acting as their personal representative sooner rather than later.
It is generally assumed that most people prepare wills during life for the efficient handling of their assets after death. The truth, however, is that over half of all Americans, including many in Texas, do not have wills. The situation of deceased pop star Prince is the most dramatic example recently of how the lack of a will can create havoc and elevated monetary expenses for a decedent's estate.
Probate takes place after the individual is deceased. It entails a situation where the decedent had sufficient assets in his or her name to qualify for the necessity of court administration of those assets pursuant to law. In Texas and other states, probate involves the appointment of a representative to administer the estate on behalf of the decedent. This can be the person appointed in a will or it may be a person who applies to the court where there is no will.