Texas Lawyers Handling Joint Account & Property Issues During The Probate Process

Not all property becomes subject to the Texas probate process after one passes away. Assets such as jointly owned real estate, bank accounts, or insurance policies for which a beneficiary has been designated will transfer without becoming a part of the deceased’s probate estate. If the assets are titled incorrectly or beneficiary designations are out of date, however, the property may be required to go through probate before being distributed to your love ones. The process can be time consuming and prevent your heirs from accessing much needed funds or property until the Court resolves the matter. Reviewing your property with an attorney during your estate planning process will help ensure that assets are titled correctly so that probate can be avoided when possible. Doing so can also help prevent disputes over property between beneficiaries. If you are a Texas resident and wish to avoid probate disputes regarding joint accounts or property, then contact our Dallas lawyers today.

deed to a house

Dallas attorneys assisting residents in avoiding probate disputes through the creation and use of joint accounts, gifts, & exempt assets

Texas allows property to pass to beneficiaries outside of the probate process if certain circumstances are met. If people own property as co-tenants with rights of survivorship or that are designated as payable on death (sometimes referred to as transfer on death), then the property will automatically pass to the remaining co-owner upon the decedent’s demise. For instance, if you and your spouse jointly own real estate and the deed to the property accurately reflects your co-ownership arrangement, the real estate would not become part of the deceased’s estate when they pass away. Instead, the property would automatically pass to the surviving spouse without being subject to the probate process. On the other hand, if your home was titled in the name of one spouse, it may be necessary for the Probate Court review the matter and determine to whom the property should validly transfer. While certain paperwork must be presented to the Court to prove that such an ownership arrangement existed, getting such property exempted from probate can be fairly straightforward. Having an attorney assist you with the process of properly setting up joint accounts, making gifts, and the joint ownership of property can save your loved ones a great deal of grief in the future.

property deed

Another reason to retain counsel for setting up joint ownership arrangements is to avoid unintended consequences. Too often Texas residents will set up a joint account or the joint ownership of property in an effort to make matters easier for caregivers. One, for example, may place a caregiver on their bank account so the caregiver can write checks. Unfortunately, if this process is not completed correctly then the person added to one’s property may wind up becoming the owner upon death with the last will and testament not controlling how such assets are distributed. Gaining legal advice on how to handle such matters can assist with preventing such unintended consequences.

signing loan papers

Our Dallas attorneys regularly assist Texas residents in the creation of joint accounts and property interests. We do so to help ensure that your assets are distributed to your heirs in accordance with your wishes. At your initial consultation we will identify all joint accounts and other property in order to determine what options best meet your objectives. We will review titles to real estate and other property as well as beneficiary designations on life insurance policies and investment accounts. This will help to ensure that property passes to those for whom you wish it to. We will also ensure that your affairs are set up in a way to avoid taking actions that may invalidate other choices you have made regarding the distribution of your estate. Protect your assets from probate by calling our lawyers today for assistance with setting up joint accounts and ownership arrangements.

Dallas lawyers assisting Texas residents with establishing their joint ownership after a loved one passes

Bank statement

Unfortunately, there are times when a person has not planned for jointly owned assets before they pass away. This can often lead to disputes over ownership between potential beneficiaries. Our attorneys also assist loved ones with establishing their joint ownership of property after a person passes away. If a dispute arises over ownership, we will file the necessary documents with the Court to ensure that process goes smoothly. Our Dallas lawyers will stay in regular contact with you throughout the process and take pride in providing the highest levels of customer service. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. Our offices also service Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Denton, Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, and Center.