San Antonio LGBTQ+ Probate Attorney
It’s never easy to lose a loved one. At a time when you’re supposed to be grieving, the last thing you’re going to want to deal with is lawyers and paperwork. Unfortunately, there are certain things you need to do when someone close to you dies. This process can be a lot easier if you have an experienced LGBTQ+ probate attorney in San Antonio.
Your probate attorney can focus on the legal side of things while you take care of your family. You don’t have to worry about feeling along at such a scary time. Your probate attorney will make sure your loved one’s wishes are carried out. This is why it’s so important that you speak with a probate attorney long before you have to worry about passing away. You don’t want to leave your loved ones feeling confused and lost.
If you’ve never been in a situation like this before, the information provided here should be helpful. If you and your partner want to protect your assets and make sure your wishes are honored, it’s wise to meet with an experienced LGBTQ+ probate attorney at Eddington Worley sooner rather than later.
What is Probate in Texas?
Another term for probate is estate administration. Probate is when you gather all of your loved one’s assets after they die so you can take care of their debts. It’s also the process used to transfer their assets. Every case is different so it’s hard to say exactly what your situation will entail. It depends on what kind of assets you and your partner have. It also depends on how complicated an estate plan you intend to create.
Some probate cases surround the execution and proving your Last Will and Testament. It could be an issue of determining who your heirs are. For LGBTQ+ couples, this can be extraordinarily complicated if you don’t have a will. There are no intestacy laws for same-sex couples. If you don’t draft a will, your assets may not go to the people you want them to.
The attorneys at Eddington Worley have the skills and experience necessary to handle your probate matters. We are experts dealing with LGBTQ+ probate matters. We can make sure your spouse or partner is taken care of after you die. Our attorneys can also ensure that your children, other heirs, trustees, executors, and beneficiaries are taken care of.
We work closely with our clients to determine their best interests and ensure we honor their wishes after they pass away. We hope our clients will benefit from the wealth of experience our San Antonio lawyers have in trust, probate and estate matters.
What are Some of the Things Your LGBTQ+ Probate Attorney in San Antonio Will Handle?
Settling your estate can be very complex. There are a number of things that need to be done. Some of the common things that need to be done following your loved one’s death include the following things.
Locating the Will
One of the first things you need to determine is whether or not a will exists. If your partner left a will, you have to locate it. Your San Antonio probate attorney can help you do this. You have to make sure the will is properly executed. If not, it will hold no legal effect.
Once you locate the will, you can start the administration process. If you’re not sure if your partner had a will, you’ll need to look for it. One of the first things you may want to do is check to see if your loved one left a safety deposit box. If they had one, there is a good chance their will is in there. There could also be a copy in a safe if they have one of them in their home.
Since you must find the original copy of the will, a duplicate will not suffice. Even if your partner’s LGBTQ+ probate attorney has a copy, it won’t have any legal effect. Only the original carries any weight.
Making Funeral Arrangements
A lot of people don’t realize that making funeral arrangements is actually part of the probate process. You won’t typically consult an attorney to do this. Usually, before someone passes away, they make their wishes clear to their loved ones. If your spouse has not done this, you may need to consult their will.
As cold as it may sound, handling the funeral arrangements is actually a business transaction. You need to make sure nobody is personally responsible for paying the funeral bills. These bills should be paid out of the decedent’s estate. This could be paid out of life insurance proceeds. Or, your loved one may have left proceeds to cover their funeral and burial expenses.
In Texas, funeral expenses are given the highest priority when compared to other bills. The first $15,000 in funeral expenses must be paid before any other creditor. Show a copy of the funeral bill to your probate attorney. Let them deal with the creditors of the estate. They have the experience to know which creditors take precedence.
You’ll Need Copies of the Death Certificate
In order to handle your loved one’s final affairs, you’ll need multiple copies of their death certificate. You can get copies of these from the funeral director. It’s a good idea to get several copies as you will need more than one along the way. You don’t want things to be held up because you don’t have enough copies of the death certificate.
You’ll need to death certificate in order to open up an estate. There is information on there that your LGBT probate attorney will need to help you through the process. You’ll probably also need the death certificate in order to collect insurance proceeds, open bank accounts, and transfer assets.
How to Know about Your Loved One’s Debts and Assets
One of the biggest parts of handling probate is collecting assets and paying off debts. You may have a good idea of what your spouse or partner owned. However, depending on the nature of your relationship, you may have no idea exactly what they owned.
You also need to know what debts your loved one owed when they passed. One way to figure this out is to look at their bank statements and mail. You may also want to check a recent credit report to see who they had accounts with. Your San Antonio LGBTQ+ probate attorney can help you do this.
If you can’t locate all of the creditors of your loved one’s estate, don’t worry. Sooner or later, they will contact either you or your lawyer asking for payment.
Locating Information about the Decedent’s Personal Representative and Beneficiaries
Your attorney will check to see if the will names the beneficiaries to the estate. If there is a will, this process shouldn’t be too difficult. However, if there is no will, this process can be very difficult.
For LGBTQ+ couples, the law isn’t as clear cut when it comes to inheritance rights. If there’s no will, normally the law would dictate who receives what. However, if you and your partner are not married, the law won’t protect you at all. This is also true for any children that were not legally adopted by the decedent. This is why it’s so important to reach out to an experienced LGBTQ+ estate planning lawyer to make sure these issues are resolved.
Probate Lawyer in San Antonio Knows How to Handle Disputes
Unfortunately, not every probate process goes smoothly. Even if there is a will, some beneficiaries and family members will fight over who gets what. This can be very frustrating. That’s why it’s a good idea to let your probate attorneys at Eddington Worley handle it for you.
Schedule a Consultation with an Attorneys at Eddington Worley Today
When you lose a loved one, there’s a lot to deal with. Things can get even more difficult for LGBTQ+ partners. When it comes time to settle their estate, you may run into some problems. If there is no will, you won’t be protected by inheritance laws. Your children could be at risk as well. This is why you need to call and schedule one of our LGBTQ+ probate attorneys in San Antonio today.
If you’re the one handling your loved one’s will, you may need some help. You probably don’t even know where to begin. All you know if you’ve lost someone you loved. And now you’re expected to deal with all the paperwork and funeral arrangements. It can take quite a toll on you.
This is why it may be a good idea to contact an experienced LGBTQ+ probate attorney at Eddington Worley today. Call and schedule a consultation to meet with one of our esteemed attorneys. You can work on estate planning. Or, if the time has come when your loved one has died, you can get advice on how to handle the estate.