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Rio Grande Valley Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

You don't have to accept an inheritance

It's always nice to know that someone was thinking about you as they prepared an estate plan. Knowing that someone cared enough for you to leave you an inheritance may make you smile. The problem is you aren't sure whether you want what the person left you.

It's not that you aren't grateful; you just have reasons why accepting the inheritance isn't what you want to do. Perhaps you believe another family member would benefit more from the inheritance, or you know you don't have the financial resources to own the property.

A general overview of the probate process

Though no one wants to have to jump right into complicated legal proceedings right after losing a loved one, probate is a process that is often necessary to settle a recently deceased individual's final affairs. You may understand the importance of the process, and you certainly know that other loved ones are ready to receive their inheritance and bequests, but what does it mean to go through probate?

If your loved one named you as the executor of the estate, you have the obligation of closing the estate. This means that you will need to take numerous steps to take care of any loose ends that the person left behind.

Myth: Estate Planning is Only for the Wealthy

MansionWhen people think of an "Estate" they might think of a mansion like the one above or a portfolio of assets worth millions of dollars. They believe that estate planning is not necessary unless you have a large estate with lots of assets.

This is a dangerous belief which can lead to devastating consequences. The reality is that small estates need estate planning just as much (if not more) than large ones.

FAQ about inheriting property

If you have recently lost a relative or a close friend, you know that there's a lot that has to be taken care of in the weeks immediately following their death. From taking care of immediate expenses to coordinating the funeral arrangements, you have a lot on your mind. When it comes time to manage the estate of the individual, you might be surprised when you find out that you have inherited property from this person. 

Now that you know you will be inheriting this property, you may have a lot more questions. Here's some of the most frequently asked questions about inherited property:

5 Things to know about settling an estate

After a loved one passes away, you could be faced with a serious job. The person who is appointed as the executor of the estate will need to satisfy several responsibilities, such as settling debts, distributing assets and more in order to settle the estate.

If you've found yourself in this position, here are five things you need to know before starting the probate process.

Gifting to Preserve Family Harmony

Dividing the Pie.jpgWe have previously discussed why leaving your estate to your children in equal shares isn't always fair. In fact, it could destroy the value of the assets you leave and ruin family relationships. So what solutions do you have to be fair and preserve family harmony? 

Equal Isn't Always Fair

Family House.jpgWhen doing their estate planning, parents always want to be fair with their children. Most often they try to accomplish this by leaving everything to the children in equal shares. While this may seem like a good solution, in practice, it can actually create lots of problems and it can end up be anything but fair. 

Why would you contest a will in Texas?

If your loved one prepared for their passing through drafting a will, their wishes regarding the distribution of their estate are probably clearly established. But, you may not agree with your inheritance. Or, you may question the capacity of the person who wrote the will (the testator) to make legal decisions prior to their death.

Though you might disagree with a will, you may not know on what basis you’re able to contest it. And, though various grounds for a challenge may apply to your situation, there are three main considerations which may factor into your decision to challenge a will.

Safekeeping of Wills

Old Safe Deposit Boxes.jpg

You've made your will, and now you have peace of mind that your estate will be settled how you want. But you're not done yet.

A will has not done its job until it makes it into probate court. For this reason, it is imperative that you preserve the will until your death, and make sure it can be found to be used. A lost will is the same as no will. 


Law Offices of Aurelio Leo Lara
4124 N 23rd St #1
McAllen, TX 78504

Phone: 956-928-3837
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