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Decatur Family Law And Personal Injury Attorney
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Decatur Texas Probate Law Blog

Guardianships and caregiving can be stressful to take on

As their parents age, some Texas residents may begin to see troubling signs of dementia or other health issues. It is not unusual for older individuals to reach a point where they can no longer handle their affairs on their own because of a decline in mental or physical health. As a result, adult children may need to seek guardianships over their parents.

Of course, being a family caregiver is not an easy role to take on. Individuals who plan to take over as a guardian may first need to learn about the parent's illness or disability and what will be needed in order to effectively care for the parent and handle his or her affairs. Doing one's research may result in a potential guardian realizing that it would be too much for him or her to handle alone.

Choosing the right executor for probate administration

Many Texas residents may worry about leaving a burden for their families to sort through when it comes time to close their estates after their passing. Probate administration can be complex, but individuals can help the process go more smoothly by leaving instructions in an estate plan. It can also help to choose an executor well-suited to handle the tasks.

When thinking about who to choose as an executor, it may help to know what the executor will need to do during probate. This person will have to file the will with the probate court in order to start the process and contact all applicable parties about the decedent's passing. Those parties may include banks, creditors, beneficiaries and government agencies. The executor will also need to manage the remaining assets until time for distribution.

A guardian has a great deal of responsibility

It can be a difficult time for every family member when it becomes apparent that an older loved one can no longer handle his or her affairs. The concern may start small when a parent or other elderly family seems forgetful but can grow when he or she refuses help taking care of daily needs, appears unable to manage financial matters or otherwise seems in need of continual help. In some cases, the situation may mean that an elderly loved one needs a guardian.

If a Texas resident feels that it may be in his or her loved one's best interests to have a guardian, it is important that the person understands what a guardian does. Guardianships are not to be taken lightly and come with a great deal of responsibility for the person taking on the role. Because it is so important, the appointment also requires court approval.

Selling a parent's home during probate administration

After a parent's passing, it is common for children to be in line to inherit certain property. If the parent created a will, it is likely that one piece of property could be left to multiple children, like a house. When more than one person has a claim to the house, questions can arise regarding how it is handled during probate administration.

Texas residents may wonder whether the executor could sell the home despite it being left to beneficiaries. Because the property is still in probate, the beneficiaries do not yet own the property. If the executor has the authority to do so, the house could be sold during probate, but the beneficiaries must be notified and often approve the sale. However, if the beneficiaries do not approve the sale, the executor could request approval from the court to carry it out.

Guardianships are not always easy to obtain

Though parents who have children with disabilities or special needs may not love them any differently than they would their able-bodied children, they do have different details to consider. For instance, when a child with special needs turns 18, it may not be feasible for him or her to head out into the world and make sound decisions. As a result, parents may need to consider guardianships.

While not all children with disabilities or special needs require a guardian later in life, many of them do. If a Texas parent believes that his or her child will need assistance handling financial affairs and other matters, then seeking guardianship of that child even when he or she reaches adulthood may be necessary. It is important to remember that parents no longer have the automatic right to make such decisions for their children once they reach the legal age of adulthood.

Probate administration can be confusing and complex

Any type of legal process can be confusing. When individuals need to go through legal proceedings after the death of a loved one, they may experience even more confusion because they are also dealing with their grief. Still, probate administration is a process that many families must complete after losing a loved one.

Having the right information can help lessen confusion in many situations. Texas residents working to settle their loved ones' estates may feel less confused if they understand some of the terms associated with probate. For instance, the executor is the person in charge of ensuring that the decedent's last wishes are carried out as stated in a will. The decedent is the deceased owner of the estate. If a will was not created, the person in charge is known as the administrator and is appointed by the court.

Some parents may consider guardianships of special needs children

Any Texas parent has concerns as their children get older. For parents who have children with Down syndrome or similar conditions, their concerns may have a sharper edge than others. In many cases, children with such conditions do not reach milestones on the same schedule as other children, and some parents may even consider guardianships as their kids reach their later teen years.

Though parents of children with special needs have a great love for those children, they understand that certain aspects of life will be more challenging in many cases. For instance, when these children hit puberty, their bodies may change on schedule, but they could have a more difficult time understanding why the changes are happening and who it is appropriate to talk to about these changes. They may also need more assistance when it comes to handling certain changes.

Probate administration information can help future executors

When asked to act as the executor of a person's estate, it is important that individuals think about the request thoroughly. Handling a person's final affairs and ensuring that probate administration is completed is a complicated enterprise. If Texas residents do not know what they are in for before accepting, they may easily feel overwhelmed later.

It is important to know that acting as an executor is similar to having another job because of the time and effort that comes along with the role. This person will need to gather and protect assets, see the estate through probate, address any creditor claims or other claims against the estate, and distribute assets to the appropriate parties when the time comes. Because there is so much to do, it is wise for executors to prepare ahead of time.

Some parents may need guardianships in their older years

Many people are lucky enough to see their parents reach their elderly years. While numerous Texas residents are undoubtedly happy to still have their parents around, they can still have concerns about how well their parents are getting on. In some cases, serious issues could put those parents in situations in which they may need guardianships.

The idea of acting as a guardian over a parent may seem unnatural to some people. After all, the parent has taken care of the child for most of his or her life. However, older people can find themselves in vulnerable positions in which they may no longer have the ability to properly handle their own livelihood or make sound financial decisions. Depending on the details, a parent could be in need of guardianship of the person or guardianship of the property.

Distributing assets can take time in probate administration

After laying a loved one to rest, many Texas residents may wonder how the remaining affairs of the estate will be handled. Probate administration is necessary for many estates, and this process allows for important endeavors related to the remaining estate to be addressed, including distributing property. Many beneficiaries often wonder when they will obtain their bequests, but it can differ depending on the type of property.

Some assets do not have to go through the probate process, which means that beneficiaries can obtain that property more quickly than probated assets. Some assets that do not go through probate include payable on death or transfer on death accounts, trusts and jointly owned property with rights of survivorship. Typically, these assets pass to the beneficiary soon after the initial owner's passing.


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