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Probating the estate of a loved one often gets harder, not easier, when it is delayed.

Andy and his wife bought a home in Mayberry, Texas. After their son, Opie was born, Andy’s wife passed away. Andy was heartbroken. He didn’t like dealing with the funeral and all the well-wishers, and when it was all over, the last thing he wanted to do was go see a lawyer and probate his wife’s estate. So he never did. His wife really hadn’t had that much. Most of their accounts were joint, and Andy continued to live in the house, and slowly paid off the medical bills that had accumulated during his wife’s illness.

Andy lived a long, life, and after he died, Opie married and continued to live in the house. Like his father, he never quite felt up to going through the court process. Now Opie needs to go into a nursing home, and he has a buyer for the house. The problem is, the house is still in his father and mother’s name. Opie, who is not really up to these things anymore, is given the task of probating not one, but two estates. And his lawyer tells him that he needs to find two disinterested people who knew his mother and can swear to how many children she had and how many times she was married. Opie didn’t even know his mother. A task that would have been easy for Andy to handle soon after the death, now seems overwhelming for Opie.

Soon after a loved one’s death, the task of seeing a probate lawyer, and going to Court may seem overwhelming. But like most things in life (or in probate), the task never gets easier simply because it is delayed. As I often handle probates I try to be both sympathetic and understanding to clients who have lost loved ones. Just know this: the State of Texas has made the probate process as simple as possible. Your first appointment to the lawyer can be very short, and only needs to cover a few, basic matters. Many clients find it a great relief to know they have someone they can call with the inevitable legal questions which arise. In almost all cases, there is just a single hearing before a Judge, and we will you a “rehearsal” of what will be asked of you in advance. The probate judges in Harris, Walker, Brazoria, and Montgomery Counties are all understanding. Together, we will walk you through each step of the process, and will handle most details for you. If you have been delaying the probate of a will, please call for an appointment in Huntsville, Conroe, or The Woodlands, Texas, at 936-435-1908. Sugar Land or Stafford residences may contact us at 281-723-2791. Let us help you put this worry behind you.