Probate Law

While death eventually comes for us all, it almost always creates more issues than we may be ready to deal with. Whether or not the person you lost had a valid Last Will, we’re here to help you manage the estate administration process, settle outstanding matters, and transfer assets to the beneficiaries.

Schedule a call with Strohmeyer Law.

Someone has passed, and now someone else (you?) has to tie up the loose ends.

Schedule your free, no-obligation consult call now or keep reading to see how this works.


A number of questions will come up as you start to settle their affairs, including…

  • Do you know what banks they used?
  • Do they know if they have a Last Will?
  • Can you log in to their computer?
  • Can you decipher their files?
  • Do you know their usernames and passwords?
  • Did they have a safe deposit box?
  • Did they have life insurance?
  • Will any family feuds be re-ignited by their passing?

My team and I are here to reduce your stress by helping you navigate the estate administration process.

We’ll help you answer all your questions (and think of those you might forget), so that you can be confident you’re carrying out your loved one’s wishes.

Whether or not the decedent created a Last Will and detailed statement of their wishes, or simply left a pile of their possessions, we’ll make sense of the legal, financial, and tax implications together.

On this page, we’ll answer some of the most common questions we hear from families left to manage their loved one’s affairs.

You can also book a free consult call with us for personal guidance. Schedule your free, no-obligation consult call now or read on for answers to common estate administration questions.


You May We Wondering…

What does a Last Will and Testament actually include?

If your loved one left a Last Will and Testament, they probably did so for one or several reasons:

  • It seems like the responsible thing to do (“adulting”)
  • They wanted to take care of you and others
  • They wanted to head off a family feud after they were gone
  • Or maybe they just wanted their financial advisor to stop hassling them

It’s also possible that they simply yearned for a lawyer to draft a pile of documents for them, gussied up with a light sprinkling of shalls, hereinafters, and aforesaids (though I’ve yet to meet that client).

In truth, the most important reason to spend time, effort, and money on estate planning is to answer one simple question: “When I die, what happens to my stuff?”

Estate planning is a chance to answer questions for those left behind.

In the 10+ years I’ve been helping families, I’ve seen a range of requests, from the straightforward (“everything goes to my spouse, otherwise to my kids”) to the more complicated (benefiting one child more than another, deciding who gets Grandpa’s stamp collection or Gramma’s favorite teapot, or deciding which doctors to consult before making medical decisions).



What does the estate administration process involve?

You’re looking for the Estate Planning page.That’s an excellent question, and usually the first we hear. Wrapping up a decedent’s affairs can encompass a number of things, including probate — the word we all hate to hear, because movies and TV make it sound a lot worse than it usually is. Here’s what probate actually involves:

  • Verifying the existence and validity of the Last Will and Testament.
  • Appointing an executor (named in the Will) to administer the estate.
  • Collecting and listing out the decedent’s assets, and keeping those separate (so no merging bank accounts right now, please).
  • Resolving any outstanding debts and taxes.
  • Distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries.

“I still want to avoid probate, because I’ve heard it’s awful.”

Probate gets a bad rap thanks to California and New York, where the process is cumbersome, lengthy, and expensive. But —along with state spirit, sheer size, and steers —Texas prides itself on not being California or New York.

If there are no fights among beneficiaries, Texas probate can be wrapped up in a few months—meaning you and your loved ones can give your energy to remembering and cherishing the person you lost.


Want more answers without reading?

Visit our YouTube channel for more matter-of-fact legal explanations.


Three steps to correctly & confidently carry out their last wishes

No family squabbles, power grabs, or dramatic graveside revelations necessary.

We’ve laid out a three-step process to take you through the preparations and paperwork you’ll need to give yourself and your family peace of mind.

Step 1: Free consultation

During this quick, informative, 20-minute call, we’ll discuss the basics of probate law, determine if we’re the right firm for you and your family, and outline possible options to move forward.

Which client are you?

Texas has many probate administration options. Depending on your age, family situation, and employment, you’ll need different guidance when planning your estate.

While we work with clients in all situations, here are the most common types of clients we help. (If you don’t fit *all* of the items in a category, pick the option that feels the closest.)


No muss, no fuss 
with a Last Will

Someone’s passed and we need to tie up the loose ends.

  • There’s a Last Will that clearly says who gets what, and you know where the original is.
  • You have a good idea of what assets the decedent owned.
  • You’re not expecting any conflicts among the beneficiaries.
  • The executor named in the Last Will is ready and willing to serve, and the beneficiaries agree with that person serving.

Click to schedule your free 20-minute consult call.

No Last Will
 & probably no fuss

Someone’s passed and we need to tie up the loose ends, but there’s not a Last Will to guide the process.

  • There’s no Last Will.
  • You may have an idea of what assets are out there.
  • You’re not expecting any conflicts among the beneficiaries.

Click to schedule your free 20-minute consult call.

Something else…

Someone’s passed, but your situation doesn’t fit into either of the previous two options.

  • There’s a Last Will, but you don’t know where the original is.
  • There’s a Last Will, but it’s not clear who gets what.
  • The beneficiaries may cause problems.
  • The executor named in the Last Will can’t or won’t serve.
  • The beneficiaries will have a problem with the named executor serving.

Click to schedule your free 20-minute consult call.


Step 2: Paid strategy session

Once you decide to move forward with Strohmeyer Law, we’ll set up a paid strategy session.

Before our session, we’ll send you an informational packet (about 15 pages) to read. If you read it, our strategy session can be as short as 45 minutes. If you don’t read it, please allow up to 3 hours for John to lecture you on the basics of the law. (Surprisingly, most clients prefer the shorter, more focused meeting —but we’re happy to sit down with you for either.)

You’ll walk away from this strategy session with a clear outline of the next steps for successfully moving through probate.

We’ll help you identify any planning issues and gaps in the decedent’s affairs (and answer the question “If I do nothing, what happens?” Spoiler: things still happen).

We’ll also determine the decedent’s Estate Score™.

This is our proprietary 0 to 100-point scoring system to help you understand their prior planning, what they may already have taken care of, and what you need to do now. (In a world of nebulous legalese, this scoring system is helpful to know exactly where you stand.)

At this point, you could take your outline to any lawyer you want, or even decide to take it from here on your own. Of course, we’d be happy to partner with you as a logical next step! The point is, you don’t have to hire us to complete the probate process (though we hope you do).


Step 3: Administer the estate

If you choose Strohmeyer Law to help you administer the decedent’s estate, we’ll be honored. With your detailed outline in hand, we’ll guide you through the process of administering the estate quickly and efficiently.

To make administration easier, instead of asking you to read through the documents themselves (which tend to be about as long as Moby Dick and just as boring), we’ve created a chart-based system. You’ll be able to review the details of the plan, adjust them, and tweak to your heart’s content.

Next, using your approved charts, we’ll draft the appropriate documents. (Unfortunately, you do have to read these to ensure everything’s just right. But at least we cut down on the back-and-forth!)

Finally, you’ll sign your documents to make them official.

This is the point at which you’ll start to see the light at the end of the estate-administration tunnel.

Book your consultation call now:


Reasons to call us immediately

👶   Someone was born!

💀   Someone died.

💒   Someone got married!

👮   Someone had an unrequested interaction with the police

🤔   Someone’s not quite all there


Scheduling that works for your actual life

We realize that scheduling an office meeting isn’t always convenient on top of your already full schedule. For that reason, we’re available on a limited basis during evenings and weekends to meet with you.

Practice Areas

Trusts

Decide how you’d like your assets to be managed for your beneficiaries.

Business Planning

Set up and manage your business’ legal structure, ownership, and more.

Taxes

We wish they weren’t so complicated. But because they are, we’re here to help — on both the personal and business sides.


Looking for something else? We can help you find the right person.

Schedule a call with Strohmeyer Law to discuss your legal and tax issues.

Need legal help? Contact Strohmeyer Law today.