Probate, Estate Planning, and Guardianships in The Woodlands, Texas

Billings Law provides you with superior legal representation

Ms. Adkins has helped families in The Woodlands, Texas with various legal needs since 2005. She serves frequently as an attorney ad litem in cases for the probate court in the area and travels frequently to various organizations in the region. Our goal is to use our expertise and experience to make sure you have the information you need to make decisions about providing for your family if you become unable to care for yourself or in case of your death. In the same vein, we can help you determine the right plan for your family if you have a child with special needs.

Probate

Probate in Texas refers to the legal process of handling someone’s estate once they have passed away. If you have a valid Will, your family will probate it at your death in order to have an executor appointed and allow the executor to distribute your estate in accordance with the Will.

If someone passes away without a Will, they are called intestate. Several options exist to handle an intestate estate, and the most common is to request that a court make a legal determination of the heirs (called an “heirship”) and then appoint an administrator to distribute the assets of the estate to the heirs. We will discuss the details of the estate with you, including any assets and any potential creditors, and make a decision together about how best to handle a given situation.

If a person passes away and their primary residence is in The Woodlands, Porter, orConroe, the probate for their estate will likely need to be filed in Montgomery County, and the court hearing the matter will be County Court at Law No. 2. If you're located in Humble, Huffman, or Spring, the probate would most likely need to be filed in Harris County.

Estate Planning

Estate Planning is a broad category that includes the creation of Wills, trusts, and other ancillary documents that fit within your plan for your estate. The goal of the documents is to avoid unnecessary legal action in the future and give your family a clear roadmap of your wishes and how various situations will be handled.

For example, having a properly executed financial power of attorney and a properly executed medical power of attorney may prevent the need for a legal guardianship for you if you are injured in a car accident and no longer able to take care of yourself or handle your own finances. As another example, having a testamentary trust inside your Will makes it possible for minor grandchildren to inherit without the need for court approval or can provide for a grandchild with special needs to inherit without interfering with needs-based government benefits.

Guardianships

In Texas, a guardianship can be established for someone that is unable to care for themselves and/or manage their own finances. The person is considered to be legally incapacitated. This applies to not only the Woodlands, but also Humble, Huffman, Conroe, & Porter, TX. The most common situations involve the development of dementia in the elderly, brain injuries sustained due to injury or illness, and children with special needs that are about to turn eighteen. A guardian who is appointed for another person has the right to determine where the person resides, consent to medical care, and if there is an estate, manage the estate to provide for the person with court supervision. For a child with special needs who has a disability that makes them legally incapacitated, and the disability will continue after they reach the age of eighteen, a guardianship case can be commenced six months prior to their eighteenth birthday. It is important for parents and caregivers to take action timely so that there is no gap in being able to consent to medical care or other necessary services for the child.

Ms. Adkins has experience serving as an attorney for guardianships for persons located within The Woodlands as well as the surrounding areas. She has knowledge of facilities and programs that may be of benefit to persons with disabilities and their families. Schedule a consult today and allow Ms. Adkins to review all details of your situation with you in a compassionate and caring manner.

We extend the invitation to contact Patricia Billings to schedule a consultation. Our goal is to help you understand both your rights and responsibilities
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