Fathers 4 Equal Rights
Tarrant County Bar Association
Texas Trial Lawyers Association
Collin County Bar Association
Hood County Bar Association
Dallas Bar Association
National Association of Realtors
State Bar of Texas


What is “Probate” and Why Should I Care?

Probate To “probate” a Will or an estate refers to the legal judicial procedure by which a deceased person’s Last Will and Testament is filed with the appropriate Court so that the Judge can formally determine that the Will is valid and should be given legal effect. Without doing this, even if a person leaves a Will behind when he or she dies, if it is not admitted to probate, it has no formal validity or legal effect.

People often complain about this, but if you stop and think about it, it makes perfect sense! How else will your descendant’s and other members of the public know for certain that the document (“Will”) being offered for admittance to probate is valid? Someone could try to forge a Will or offer a version which had been replaced by a later Will, or maybe the person executing the Will was not mentally well enough to understand what he or she was signing- these and many other reasons demonstrate why probate is appropriate and necessary.

Usually, going through the process of probating a Will is not difficult or expensive if the Will was prepared correctly. Essentially, the procedure entails the person appointed by the Decedent to represent the Estate contacts a lawyer and has an application filed with the Court to admit the Will to probate. This process includes then appearing before a Probate Court Judge (sometimes a County Court) for a brief hearing to have the Judge review the Will and hear some evidence establishing the Will is valid. At that time, the judge will sign a court order declaring the Will is admitted to probate and appoint a representative of the Estate, who will either be “independent” or “dependent” on the Court’s approval of his or her actions in administering the Estate. Afterwards, if the Will created an “Independent” Executorship (as most do), the Independent Executor may, with the lawyer’s guidance but without further meaningful oversight by the Court, determine the value of the decedent’s assets, pay his final bills and taxes, and, ultimately distribute the remainder of the estate to the rightful beneficiaries.

Client Reviews
Knowledgeable, respectful and great! Renee Moore
Jon, once again – Great job! I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for your overall knowledge of the law and your impressive trial skills. Simply outstanding! It may have been just another day at the office for you, but you’ve made a huge positive impact on my life and more importantly on my son’s life. Thanks again. Anonymous
My experience as Jon’s client was stellar and I can’t imagine having gone through everything the last few years without him going to bat for me. My case was a high conflict child custody modification. Jon is incredibly knowledgeable and he expertly applied this knowledge to my case. He has a very confident, commanding presence in the courtroom and his loyalty to the success of me and my case was clear in his actions. Our outcome was better than I expected and I am happy with the results. He and his staff are diligent, skilled and worth every cent. If you need assertive, sharp, highly skilled representation, then I absolutely recommend Jon. Anonymous
A most genuine ‘Thank You’ from me and my family. (I am) very fortunate that I found you in 2006 to represent me in battling The Devil in Divorce-Custody #1. It’s no secret that I hold you in high regard and probably place unfair expectations on your back to carry into battle with me. Just know that there is no one I trust more than you when it comes to guiding/representing/fighting for me and my family. You earned my respect and trust nine years ago now. I already know the quality of man I walk into the courtroom with. And that provides me a level of confidence which cannot be replaced. I’m loyal to a fault, my friend. The quality of your work and your office staff’s support and responsiveness have all been top notch in dealing with me and my family’s legal issues... Anonymous