O'Toole Atwell, PC Serving Clients In Texas & Colorado For OVER 20 Years
Business & Commercial Litigation
Phone 512-475-4740
Our Practice Areas

Deciding whether to avoid probate

People in Texas who are creating an estate plan may want to consider whether they want the estate to go through probate. The process can be time-consuming and expensive. It may interfere with the speed with which beneficiaries receive their inheritance. Another potential disadvantage of probate is that it is a public process. Furthermore, if a person owns property in more than one state, there may be a probate process in those states as well.

There are a few ways to avoid probate. One is by using beneficiary designations. These are used for assets such as life insurance and retirement plans. A living trust may also be a way for an estate to avoid probate.

However, avoiding probate is not the right choice for everyone. Some people prefer a more public process because it can help ensure that everything remains above board. The executor is subject to public scrutiny if necessary, and a complaint can be filed with the court if someone is unhappy with the administration. On the other hand, since titles to assets are certified by the court, it is more difficult for people to make challenges to ownership. Ultimately, many people use a combination of tools that avoid probate for some assets while other parts of the estate go through the process.

A person who has been appointed executor of an estate might want to contact an attorney to discuss estate administration and probate. Even if there are no serious issues with the paperwork or with challenges from beneficiaries, the process may be a complex one. The executor may need to pay outstanding debts on the estate and even outstanding debts belonging to some beneficiaries before they can receive distributions. An attorney may also be able to advise as to what an executor should do if there are challenges or other complexities.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
5 Star Review

Passionate, professional, and caring! Brian did a great job representing me!
Jana ODonnell

  • Super Lawyers Brian J. O'Toole | SuperLawyers.com
  • Board Certified Texas Board of Legal Specialization | Brian J. O'Toole - Civil Trial Law
  • Austin Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Foundation
  • Supreme Court of the State of Texas
  • United States District Court | District of Colorado
Email O’Toole Atwell, PC

Make Your Appointment Today

Our main office is located in Austin, Texas, and we serve clients throughout Texas and Colorado. Contact us today at 512-475-4740 or online to find out how we can put personalized service to work for you in your legal matter.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

O'Toole Atwell, PC
919 Congress Avenue, Suite 535
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: 512-476-4740
Fax: 512-476-1228
Austin Law Office Map