The Initial Probate Process

The loss of a loved one is a difficult time. The process of going through the person’s property and figuring out her debts is a responsibility that will fall to someone. That someone is the person who will be handling the estate. Jana McCreary represents those persons in charge of handling things after someone dies. Whether we begin with a Discovery Call or move straight to the Probate Strategy Session, McCreary Law Office understands how overwhelming it can be and will work with you to understand your role and what needs to be done.

Who the Client Is

McCreary Law Office represents the person who will handle the details of an estate after someone dies; this person is the personal representative for the estate. If the deceased person had a will, the personal representative is called the executor or executrix. If there is no will, the personal representative is usually called the administrator.

Texas law lists an order of priority for who will be the personal representative:

  • Person named in the will to be executor or trustee
  • Surviving spouse
  • Primary person to inherit under the will
  • Any person inheriting under the will
  • Next-of-kin
  • A creditor
  • Anyone who applies
  • Anyone who is not disqualified
  • An appointed public probate administrator

For a person to be qualified to be the personal representative, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Have mental capacity
  • Not be a felon
  • Be a resident of Texas or, if a nonresident, appoint a local resident agent*
  • Not be found unsuitable by the court

*A corporation can act as the personal representative if the corporation is authorized to act as a fiduciary in Texas.

Discovery Call

The complimentary Discovery Call is designed as a brief chat so someone from the office can explain how the probate process works with McCreary Law Office and how we use the Initial Strategy Session to move forward. Having lost a close family member suddenly and unexpectedly, Jana understands how confusing and overwhelming this time can be. Even when the death of a loved one is not a surprise, figuring out what needs to be done can be daunting.

During this ten- or fifteen-minute phone call, we will discuss what to expect in an Initial Strategy Session, what sort of information is needed for the Initial Strategy Session, and how to get started. Fees are not reviewed until we get a chance to get to know each other in our actual initial session. And we can schedule that Initial Strategy Session while we’re on our Discovery Call.

You can schedule your Discovery Call here.

Initial Strategy Session

Consultations for your possible probate matter can be held by means of an online meeting or in person at McCreary Law Office. Although the client will be the personal representative for the estate, if that person wants others involved in the consultation to understand the process, that is fine. The potential client can allow others to be present.

Before the meeting, the office will send you a link to an online form for you to complete before we meet. This form will ask for information about the deceased person, that person’s family, and about you. The details are important because the strength of the advice provided in your meeting depends on the information you provide. Please bring the will with you to the meeting if you have one.

During your meeting, you will meet with the attorney, Jana McCreary. Through your conversation, Jana will learn as much as she can about you and your loved one’s estate. Jana’s goal for the meeting is to be able to clearly advise you about what your options are for administering the estate, the costs involved, and the best ways to proceed. Often, additional information will be needed. In those cases, another meeting might be scheduled.

The Initial Strategy Session is scheduled for one hour, and Jana will provide advice on how to move forward and what she sees as your best path for administering the estate. The fee for the Initial Strategy Session is $350.

Moving Forward

The next steps will depend on each potential client’s individual situation and depend on whether a formal administration is required. If the personal representative or executor decides to work with McCreary Law Office, we will sign an agreement and develop the plan to proceed.

Getting Started

Hiring an Attorney

What to Expect

Online Services

Schedule a Discovery Call