How I learned to stop worrying and love probate, Part 2.

Robert Ray

In the first part of this post, I talked about what probate is about. In this part, I want to talk about some of the problems that can occur when someone tries to avoid probate because they are afraid of it.

Recently, people have been buying trust packages from someone who comes into town and gives seminars about “the dangers of probate or the high cost of probate.” They are trying to sell some alternative package of documents that they claim will allow you to avoid probate. Most of these are trust. Trust, if done properly, are useful, especially if your estate is very large. When people try to put together a prepackaged trust, they almost always do it incorrectly. A trust needs to be created in writing and then funded. That means that your property has to be put in the trust. If you want to avoid probate by putting all of your property in the trust, you have to deed your house to the trust, sign over your car to the trust, transfer all of your bank accounts to the trust, etc. If you don’t make these transfers, then you still have property in your name when you die and that property needs to go through probate. While you can create a trust in your will that doesn’t come into existence until you death, most of the prepackaged trust are created while you are alive.

In Texas, we have homestead laws. That means that your homestead can’t be seized to pay your debts except for limited exceptions. If you deed your homestead to the trust, you may loose the homestead exemption unless the trust is set up properly.

Trusts are not a good idea if all you are trying to do is avoid probate. You will end up spending more money creating and managing a trust than you ever will by having an attorney draw up a simple will that will glide through the probate process without any difficulties. So stop worrying and love probate!

UPDATES

There are new cases all the time that clarify or change the law on inheritance disputes. Keep up-to-date by subscribing to our blog.

'

Subscribe

Recent Posts

Can a murderer inherit his victim’s property?

Can a murderer inherit his victim’s property?

Texas Slayer Rule Affirmative Action Required The Texas State Constitution has a provision that says ""No conviction shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture of estate." The Texas Estates Code §201.058 (Probate Code §41(d)) is similar. Those two provisions have...

The slayer rule doesn’t always apply

Texas Slayer Rule Recent UK case on the Slayer Rule The Texas Slayer Rule is different from other state's and countries' rule but has procedures to accomplish the same end result. See this discussion. The Texas Slayer Rule is a rule that court's use to prevent a...

A Gift of “Personal Property” Means all but Real Estate

A will left some specific items to individuals, left "all household and personal property" to Vargas then left a residuary clause. The estate consisted of about $290,00 in bank accounts, stocks, cars and household furnishings. Vargas contended that she received...

Podcast – revoking a will in Texas

Podcast added! The topic is "Revoking a will in Texas" Whether a will has been revoked or not is an issue that comes up in will contest. A recent Texas case showed some of the problems that can arise when one party claims that the will has not been revoked and the...

The Author

Robert Ray

Robert Ray handles inheritance disputes of all kinds. He takes cases throughout Texas.
© Copyright 2022 | All Rights Reserved.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This