We’re all familiar with TV dramas and movies where wills are “read” and inevitably someone is upset and challenges the validity of the document. But what if the original will is lost? Can a photocopy serve the same purpose?
Nationally, only about 32% of adults have an estate planning document such as a will or trust. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of people will be leaving their estate in the hands of a probate court.
The nature and size of your estate typically determine the cost and amount of time it will take to complete the probate process. On average, the probate process can easily cost from 3 percent to 7 percent or more of the estate's total value and take up to two years to complete.
Even the closest families can fall apart when money and sentiment are involved. Emotions often run high and the executor faces the challenges of trying to honor the decedent’s wishes while also holding the family together.
We live in a world of blended families — yours, mine, and ours. Even in families where everyone gets along, the death of a parent and spouse can cause tremendous tension when it comes to handling the decedent’s estate.
The death of a parent can be an emotional time for their dependents. Unfortunately, such a huge loss can bring about legal disagreements and deepen rifts among siblings. When close family members fail to agree over the terms or validity of a will, the will may be contested.
According to a 2018 EstateExec survey, on average, it takes an executor about 16 months or approximately 570 hours of effort to settle an estate. If you've been appointed as an executor to settle an estate, consulting with an experienced Texas estate administration attorney is crucial for proper guidance.