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Wills, Trusts, Estates and Probate
The lawyers at Guest and Associates personally work with our clients in the Duncanville, Texas area and surrounding communities to develop and finalize their Last Will and Testament (Will). A Will (or Testament) is a legal document by which a person expresses their wishes as to how their property and assets are to be distributed at death, and names one or more persons to manage the estate until its final distribution. This includes, but is not limited to, your estate, property, possessions, money and children. The consequences of not having a Will are quite serious; the state can divide your property, regardless of your intended wishes.
You worked hard to earn what you have—your home, car, money and investments—shouldn’t you express how it will be distributed after your death? Without a Will, your wishes will be irrelevant, and the state will decide how to distribute your estate. Having a Will ensures that your estate is handled according to your preference.
Probate is the official way that an estate gets settled under the supervision of the court. A person is nominated according to the deceased person's Will, or if there was no will, usually a surviving spouse or an adult child is appointed by the court. Once appointed, this person, called an Executor, has the legal authority to gather and value the assets owned by the estate, to pay bills and taxes, and, ultimately, to distribute the assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.
Our lawyers serve as your personal representative during the entire probate process, from start to finish. The steps required for probate will differ based on whether the decedent died testate (with a valid Last Will and Testament) or intestate (without a valid Will). We will advise the Executor of the estate or the beneficiary of an estate on legal and other matters. We also carry the burden of preparing and filing all of the necessary documents and paperwork that required by probate court during the probate process.
Guest and Associates also helps our clients to protect their assets prior to marriage by developing a prenuptial agreement ("prenup" for short). A prenup is a written contract created by two people before they are married. A prenup typically lists all of the property each person owns (as well as any debts) and specifies what each person's property rights will be after the marriage.
Contrary to popular opinion, prenups are not just for the rich. While prenups are often used to protect the assets of a wealthy fiancé, couples of more modest means are increasingly turning to them for their own purposes. The reasons for having a prenup completed includes deciding how to pass separate property to children from prior marriages, to clarify financial rights during the marriage, to avoid arguments in the case of divorce, and to get protection from debts that one or both spouses bring into the marriage.
Call us at 972-594-1133 and schedule your free initial consultation today.