The term "intestate" means to die without a valid Will.
The term "testate" means to die with a valid Will.
Under the law, a person who has died is referred to as the decedent.
The Texas Probate Code outlines the steps to be taken upon the death to wind-up the affairs of the decedent.
The assets of the estate are referred to as the "probate assets of the estate". These assets are attempting to be transferred to the beneficiaries under the Will. But before these assets can legally move to the beneficiaries, any creditors of the estate must be addressed. Contrast this to what is referred to as "non-probate assets" of an estate. These are assets held and owned by the decedent at death but are being transferred to another at death outside the decedent's Will (most common a contract principle). The most common are "payable on death" accounts with a financial institution and/or life insurance policies.
LEGAL - PROBATE
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With compassion and understanding, we provide assistance to help people deal with the death of others around them.
If someone dies in Texas then specific steps should be taken to ensure all legal duties and requirements have been completed. This is called Probate (i.e., the legal process you undertake when an individual dies to wind up the affairs of the deceased person).
The basic framework of "winding up" the affairs of the deceased:
1) Gather the assets
2) Pay the remaining creditors
3) Distribute the remaining portion (if any) to the lawful heirs
This can take may forms depending on the circumstances and you should consult an Attorney.
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