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A Simple Guide to Probate Terminology

Probate terms and terminology in McKinney.
Image Credit – Worawee Meepian/

As experienced McKinney probate attorneys for estate disputes and related matters, Lucé Law, PC works closely with clients after the passing of a loved one. This period is often confusing as relatives try to familiarize themselves with complex legal terms and requirements. However, with an understanding of the common terminology, the probate process doesn’t need to be overwhelming.

An Introduction to Probate Terminology

Navigating the probate process requires the guidance of an attorney. Here are some of the primary legal terms in a probate case.

Probate – This is the court-supervised legal process that controls the distribution of a deceased person’s assets, settling their debts and transfer of property to their heirs.

Decedent – This term refers to the person who has passed away and whose estate is administered through probate.

Estate – An estate covers all the assets and property owned by the decedent. These assets could consist of real estate, personal belongings, investments, bank accounts and more.

Will – A will is a legal document describing the decedent’s wishes regarding the distribution of their assets and the care of any young children.

Executor – The executor is a person named in the will responsible for administering the decedent’s estate. If there is no will or the named executor is unable to serve, the court appoints an administrator to fulfill these duties.

Intestate – A person has died intestate if they did not leave a will. In such cases, the distribution of the estate will be handled according to Texas intestacy laws. A probate attorney helps clients through this legal process.

Heir – Heirs are individuals who are legally entitled to inherit from the decedent. Heirs typically include spouses, children and other close relatives.

Beneficiary – A beneficiary is a person or entity designated in a will or a life insurance policy to receive a portion of the decedent’s assets.

Probate Court – This is the specific court that handles probate matters, including validating the will, appointing the executor or administrator and overseeing the distribution of the estate.

Letters Testamentary – These legal documents are issued by the probate court and grant the executor the authority to administer the estate.

Abatement – If insufficient funds cover debts the estate owes, beneficiaries may receive a reduction in gifts.

Why Understanding Probate Terminology Matters

Of course, a probate litigation attorney guides clients through the entire probate process, clearing up any confusion over terms. However, by learning the basic terms of probate, you can make informed decisions and protect the interests of your loved ones. During such an emotionally challenging time, this knowledge helps to reduce stress until the conclusion of the process.

Probate Attorney Serving McKinney and Beyond

Lucé Law, PC is an established law firm covering business law, estate disputes, family law, litigation and more. If you need assistance with a probate issue, don’t hesitate to contact our McKinney office. Call (972) 632-1300 or request a free legal consultation today.

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