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Corpus Christi Estate Planning & Probate Attorney

Awarded Lawyer Dedicated to Preserving Your Rights

In complicated legal matters that are critical for the future, you need to know that you can work with a Corpus Christi probate attorney who has your best interests at heart. At The Law Offices of Alex R. Hernandez, Jr. PLLC, our clients come first. Not only does this show in the great results we deliver, but it has been recognized by so many others, leading to a 10.0 out of 10.0 Superb rating from Avvo. This objective rating not only reflects more than a decade of experience, but it highlights our legal skills and ethical standards. See how we can assist you when you call us today!

At The Law Offices of Alex R. Hernandez, Jr. PLLC, our legal team in Corpus Christi is qualified to help you with all your estate plan and probate needs in Texas. Whether you want to draft a legally sound document, contest a will or trust, or you need legal help to oversee a trust or estate, our lawyers have the skill and passion to help you. Our services include helping our diverse clients in issues such as:

  • Creating a Will or Trust
  • Avoiding Probate
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Trust & Will Litigation

Top Benefits of Estate Planning

  • Appoint someone to manage your affairs according to your wishes and instructions
  • Protect your assets in the event of your death, a divorce or a lawsuit
  • Avoid a significant amount of estate taxes
  • Help your family avoid the lengthy and costly probate process
  • Protect the inheritance of your children in case your spouse ever remarries
  • Put limitations and requirements in place for your beneficiaries to have access to their inheritance
  • Make it so that your heirs are encouraged to live good lives and make good decisions in order to receive their inheritance
  • Ensure that your loved one with special needs is provided for and receives their inheritance as well as government aid
  • Give your family peace of mind know that all your affairs are in order

Things You Should Know About Probate in Texas

  1. How long the probate process can take?
    The average duration for the probate of a small estate could be handled in just one day in court. However, for larger more complicated estates the process could take months or even years to conclude.

  2. What the role of the executor is in a probate case?
    The executor is whoever the decedent appointed to handle their estate. Their sole responsibility is to assemble all the property and pay off any remaining taxes or debts. They are then to distribute the remaining assets and property to the appointed heirs and beneficiaries.

  3. What does the term "domicile" mean?
    This term refers to the place or country that the individual intended to make their permanent home. This does not always refer to the place of residence where the person was living at the time of their death.

  4. Who is responsible to plan the details of the funeral?
    Typically the funeral planning is left up to the immediate family or relatives of the deceased. The executor or estate administrator then deals with the funeral expenses and estate records according to the directions within the decedent's will. If the individual did not leave behind a will, then the probate process will be handled according to the laws of the State.

Avoiding Probate

The probate process in Texas is touted as one of the easiest to go through assuming a well-worded will is active. Avoiding the state’s involvement in the disbursement of belongings is very appealing. Here are some steps you can take to avoid probate court completely:

  • You will want to make sure that all of your assets have “survivorship rights” clearly written out. This means that each party written on the asset, such as a mutual fund or bank account, has it stated that assets pass to the survivor in the event of one person's death in Texas.
  • Assets should also include the wording “transfer on death” or “payable-upon-death”. Items that can fall under this list include bonds and stocks, retirement funds, and life insurance. If these words are not included, you will want to correct this by adding the verbiage to avoid probate.
  • Any car titles that have only one party members name listed should obtain an affidavit of heirship to a motor vehicle, which can be given from the DMV. You are able to transfer vehicles to a beneficiary without the need for probate in Texas.
  • You will want to add a right of survivorship to a home title to create a joint tenancy, assuming the home is in only one person’s name, or have a skilled estate attorney generate a “life estate arrangement.” Both solutions enable both parties the ability to transfer deeds to one another, avoiding probate in Texas.
  • Should one party be unable to make financial or legal decisions, having a power of attorney designated allows the other person to make those decisions on your behalf. This document allows the “attorney” to avoid Texas probate by making sure all documents are worded properly prior to the other party’s death.
  • Setting up a trust for all your assets, like a living trust, allows you to clearly name a beneficiary for the assets. Husband and wives often get this sort of trust. In the unfortunate event of one person’s passing, assets still stay in the trust, eliminating the need to transfer assets altogether.
  • If you are in clear communication with family members ahead of time with estate decisions, it can reduce the chance for Texas probate to step in. If there are no discrepancies, you can skip the whole probate system entirely.

Setting up an estate plan can really benefit you and your loved ones, but they can be very tricky to compose. If you would like guidance around avoiding probate in Texas, contact our offices today.

Get the Help You Deserve from a Probate Attorney in Corpus Christi

If you believe a document was created under duress or through undue influence, you can find the experienced trial lawyer you need to challenge a trust or will. Attorney Alex Hernandez has been taking cases to trial since 2001. If you are feeling overwhelmed as a trustee or executor, or if you are unsure whether your property will escape probate, do not hesitate to give our firm a call.

Our Corpus Christi estate and probate lawyers can provide insight into every process of estate planning. Start getting the answers you need for these vital legal matters by filling out your free case review today!

Our attorneys are here to help in most areas of law. Call us today to discuss your legal matter.

Learn More About Our Team

  • top 10
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
  • avvo 10.0
  • BBB A +
  • Rue Ratings Best Attorney
  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100

Client Focused… Results Driven… With Justice for All