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Specializing in Estate Planning, Probate, Contract Drafting & Negotiation, and Family Law, we offer compassionate and personalized service to our clients.

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Probate is the legal process when a decedent leaves assets to distribute, such as bank accounts, real estate, and financial investments. Probate is the general administration of a deceased’s person’s will or the estate of a deceased person without a will. These proceedings, whether or not there is a will, focus on identifying the deceased’s assets and distributing them to the heirs and beneficiaries of the deceased.

If you have been named the Executor in a Will, or if you wish to be the Administrator of a decedent who died without a will, please contact us at the Law Offices of James H. Taylor to help you navigate this process.

Probate Litigation

The death of a loved one is always a painful occurrence. Unfortunately, that pain is too often compounded by problems in the estate that cause disputes among heirs and beneficiaries. If you suspect that a will or its execution does not reflect the wishes of the deceased, you have a right to challenge the proceedings in probate court. At The Law Offices of James H. Taylor, we are ready to assist you in inheritance controversies arising from:

Lack of capacity

Undue influence

Breach of fiduciary duty

Preventing Exploitation of the Elderly

Many probate disputes stem from suspicions that a particular individual took advantage of the declining health or dementia of the deceased to insinuate himself into the will to the detriment of the rightful heirs. Sally S. Andrews is familiar with such cases and knows exactly what kind of evidence is necessary to make a showing of undue influence or lack of capacity. If a caretaker or family member manipulated an unfair change in the will, that change can be invalidated.

Demanding Accountability and Fairness

The individual chosen to be the personal representative of the estate or to hold power of attorney has a fiduciary duty to dispatch his obligations professionally and in accordance with the wishes of the testator. Any deliberate fraud or negligence in accounting for assets can and should be challenged in Probate Court. Our attorneys have experience dealing with estate issues and can form a quick and accurate appraisal of whether matters are being handled competently and honestly.

Don’t Hesitate to Hire an Attorney to Help You Navigate this Process

Many beneficiaries hesitate to hire an attorney because they trust the probate court to do what is fair or wish to keep a family dispute within the family. However, there are things you should consider before attempting to handle a probate issue yourself. The court is not an investigative body. Just because you bring up an issue does not mean the judge is obligated to search for supporting evidence. You can present allegations, but without the firm basis a professional attorney can provide, your suspicions may receive little consideration. Moreover, a seasoned attorney who has been through probate negotiations before is likely to produce a settlement that satisfies all parties and allows the proceedings to move forward at less cost to the estate.

Don’t add to your emotional loss by losing out on your loved one’s legacy. Contact The Law Offices of James H. Taylor or call us at 832-368-0807 to schedule a consultation with a reliable probate attorney.

Estate Planning
Family Law