Denton Probate Attorneys
The Chenault Law Firm is a Denton County Probate, Fiduciary Litigation & Contested Administration Law Firm proud to serve North Texas on legal issues related to wills, trusts, and estate planning documents. From drafting and administrating to resolving disputes and litigating misconduct, we are proud to offer a premiere selection of legal services to meet your specific probate needs.
We understand just how deeply emotionally charged and complex such situations can be. That’s why our commitment to each and every clients remains to help bring any such matters to a settlement as quickly and efficiently as we can. Often times, quickly resolving disputed matters in Probate require creativity, practicality, and legal expertise that you can only find with experience. The Chenault Law Firm is proud to offer residents of Denton County and all of North Texas reliable, focused, and compassionate legal services and expertise during such times. For a consultation, fill out the form below or call us at 972.591.0099 today.
Will & Trust Construction and Interpretation
The Chenault Firm also serves Denton and North Texas in Will and Trust Construction cases. These are cases where the process of determining to whom the deceased intended to distribute their assets is necessary. There may be any number of reasons a will or trust needs to be reformed in order to more accurately reflect the true intent of the deceased settlor. Whether or not you oppose or support steps to reform a will or trust, we can help.
When it comes to representing your interests and position during negotiations and other legal proceedings, we will work diligently on your behalf so that you can have the peace of mind you deserve during such difficult times. We know that disputes over the intent of the Settlor often take place between family members and that the issues need to be handled with the utmost discretion and care. This is why the Chenault Frim always makes it a first priority to achieve the most positive outcome for our clients we can while still being cost-efficient.
Not sure if a will or trust construct is right for your situation? Still have questions that we didn’t touch on here? Don’t let it keep you up at night. Let us help you get some peace of mind. If you live in Denton County, we’d love to offer you an initial consultation. Just call us at 972.591.0099 or fill out the form on this page and we can get something set up.
Probate & Estate Litigation
The Denton Probate Attorneys at the Chenault Law Firm are proud to represent beneficiaries, trustees, executors, and administrators in Denton County and North Texas in all aspects of probate & estate disputes and litigation. This includes administration disputes, fiduciary disputes, and settlements on overly complex estates or trusts, etc. We are also pleased to represent the interests of beneficiaries of wills, trusts, and estates. Our team has the experience, legal know-how, and focus needed to help navigate you through any trust or probate dispute.
Do you live in the greater Denton area? Are you dissatisfied with the administration of a loved one’s estate after their death? There are laws in Texas that govern who a deceased’s estate goes to in the event there is no will or the will is unclear. Call us at 972.591.0099 or fill out the form below for an initial consultation that obligates you in no way.
Our experienced team of Estate Litigation and Denton Probate Attorneys have represented clients in all kinds of litigation cases. No matter how exhausting, complex, or sensitive your case, we can help.
Allegations of misconduct by executors, administrators & trustees
One thing that Executors, Administrators and Trustees of wills, estates, and trusts have in common is they serve as a fiduciary for the beneficiaries of their respective assets. A fiduciary is someone who has control over the property or assets of another.
Sometimes those in such position come under suspicion of misconduct. If you live and work in Denton County or the surrounding North Texas area and are serving as an executor, administrator or trustee accused of misconduct, Chenault Law Firm is here to help. Alternatively, if you are a beneficiary seeking compensation for the damages of alleged misconduct, we can represent your interests in any and all negotiations and proceedings needed for resolution, whether that means mediation, litigation, or even construction of the will or trust.
When it comes to disputes of misconduct, Texas law is quite clear, calling for loyalty, good faith, and accountability. This quite literally means a fiduciary such as a trustee or executor is legally compelled by Texas law to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries above and before their own.
There are a variety of remedies including actual damages, denial of compensation, attorney’s fees, exemplary or punitive damages, disgorgement of fees, and even removal that can result if there is actual misconduct on the part of the fiduciary.
If you live in the greater Denton, Texas area and would like to discuss the specifics of your situation with one of our attorneys, just fill out the form on this page or call us at 972.591.0099 to schedule your no-obligation initial consultation with Chenault Law of Denton.
Defense of Will
There are a number of grounds upon which the Chenault Law Firm can contest the validity of a loved one’s will in Texas. Alternatively, if someone else is contesting a will you wish to preserve, we can also work defense of the will. Many people hope to contest or defend the validity of a will for a number of reasons. Some of the more common reasons for a will to be challenged are:
- The will was never signed or wasn’t signed in accordance with applicable Texas state laws. The laws that govern the signing of wills are specific and vary from state to state.
- The loved one who left the will, or Testator, lacked the “testamentary capacity” to understand the will and its contents when they signed it.
- There was some sort of undue influence upon the Testator that influenced their signing of the will. A third party might have pressured the testator to leave their estate to someone while not providing for others.
- The will in question was procured by means of fraud. If you think your loved one was tricked into signing the will, for example, they were led to believe they were signing something else like a deed, then we may be able to help you contest the will.
If you still have questions or want to know more about defending or contesting the will of one of your loved ones, it is in your best interest to act quickly. For those in North Texas and the greater Denton Area, the Chenault Law Firm would be glad to answer any questions you have about a will contest. Please fill out the form on this page or call us at 972.591.0099 for a consultation today.
“Allegations Of A “Common-Law Marriage”
Texas is one of the few states in the union that recognizes “common-law” or “informal” marriage. This has significance for probate law, particularly ones involving interstate probate where the Decedent passes away without a will. In Texas, the requirements for a relationship to be considered common law are very specific.
A relationship must meet the criteria of common law marriage or the alleged spouse will not be considered a legal heir of the Decedent. Generally speaking, To be considered married under common law in Texas:
- The couple must live together as a husband and wife.
- The couple had both agreed to become married.
- The couple represented to others and “held themselves out” as married.
Still have questions? Want to discuss your case with an experienced probate attorney? If you live in Denton County or anywhere else in the surrounding North Texas area, fill out the form below or call us at 972.591.0099 to schedule a no-obligation initial consultation.
No Communication Limits
The Chenault Law Firm makes a strong pledge to our clients. We will thoroughly explain every aspect of your issue and are always standing by to answer any questions that you may have.
Commonly Asked Questions
A: Though the probate process is not needed for every will in the state of Texas, it is the usual process for proving and settling up debts, accounts, taxes, and other obligations attached to the estate before dividing remaining assets up among heirs.
In many cases, the will of the deceased will direct an independent executor to oversee the probate process. This person acts as a fiduciary for the beneficiaries and heirs of the will. If the will did not specify to use an independent executor, the process may need to be overseen by a Texas Probate Court. This makes the process far more complex and costly.
Even if no independent executor was appointed by the will, the heirs can still agree to use one in order to save the estate a great deal of costs. Still have questions about how probate works in the state of Texas? Just give the Chenault Law Firm a call at 972.591.0099 and we can discuss setting up a no-obligation initial consultation.
A: If you believe that a loved one made a will while they did not have the capacity to make such decisions or while under the control of another person, Texas law allows you to contest the validity of the will. Basically, this means that if you feel the will is not the true reflection of what your loved wanted or would have written if they are able, you can contest the will.
The first step is to contact a qualified and experienced Texas Probate Attorney who is familiar with the process of contesting wills in Texas and who will know the best way to go about it with your local Texas Probate court.
If you live in Denton or the surrounding North Texas area, the Chenault Law Firm is standing by to help you contest any will you feel does not honor the true wishes of your loved one. Still have questions? Fill out the form below or call us at 972.591.0099 and we can discuss your case specifically.
A: If you believe the Administrator or Executor has acted in a way that qualifies as misconduct while managing the estate, Texas law allows you to file suit. Because the laws that govern probate, trusts, estates, and the administration of wills are so complex, your first step should be to call a local attorney who you trust and who is familiar with Texas probate law.
For those in Denton, Texas and the surrounding area, the Chenault Firm is a reputable, experienced, and compassionate probate firm that can represent you in any administration dispute or litigation. For a no-obligation consultation, just fill out the form on this page or give us a call at 972.591.0099. If you have questions or simply want to know more about the process, we’re standing by so call today!
A: If you are an executor or a beneficiary of a a will that has been challenged, it is important to evaluate the merits of the challenge and respond immediately. Depending on the facts, immediate action may be needed to preserve and protect the Estate assets while the dispute is pending. The first step, as it always is with such a complex and serious legal matter, would be to enlist the services of a qualified Texas Probate Attorney who is familiar with the process of defending a will contest.
After hiring an attorney, your next step will be to file an answer or respond accordingly. Next, your attorney will help you build evidence to defend your case. For those in Denton County, the Chenault Law Firm is proud to offer experienced and dedicated representation. For an initial consultation, just fill out the form or give us a call at 972.591.0099.
A: In Texas, it is the duty of a fiduciary to put the interests of the estate or trust beneficiary above their own. Texas Law allows any beneficiary or heir wronged by a breach of such fiduciary duty to seek legal remedies through litigation.
Such litigation may seek not only damages, but also the disgorgement of money the party who committed the breach received. If you are in Denton, Texas or the surrounding North Texas area and you believe you or a family member has been the victim of a breach of fiduciary duty, give the Chenault Law Firm a call at 972.591.0099 or fill out the form below today. We’d love to discuss your case, so why not setup a no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your options with one of our attorneys?
A: When a person passes away in Texas without a will or operative Estate plan, that person is often referred to as passing “intestate”. The rightful heirs and their share of the estate is determined by the heirship and intestate succession laws of Texas. This can be quite a challenging legal issue in Texas. For this reason, we highly recommend that you seek qualified legal representation from an experienced probate firm in your area.
Texas law requires Probate Courts to follow the law for the determination of such heirs with no regard to the known preferences or wishes of the deceased. With the qualified legal representation of the Chenault Law Firm on your side, filing for a proceeding to determine heirship in Denton County can be easier than you think.
For an initial consultation or to learn more, fill out the form below or call us at 972.591.0099 today to setup an appointment.
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A well drafted document can often times help avoid disputes on down the line. The Chenault Law Firm is proud to offer legal drafting services for a variety of documents that includes, but is not limited to:
• Powers of Attorney
• Advanced Directives
• Other Estate Planning Documents
If you have questions about the drafting process or would like to discuss your case with our team, just fill out the form on this page or give us a call at 972.591.0099 for an initial consultation. At the Chenault Law Firm, we understand how important and stressful such documents and their administration is. We also understand how contentious the process of probate can be. That’s why we are committed to doing everything we can to simplify and de-stress the process for our clients.
This includes providing simplified and independent administrator services including independent administration and other options as Texas Probate law allows. To learn more about what the Chenault Law Firm can do for you, continue reading this page or fill out the contact form below.
Will Contest and Probate Litigation
One of the most stressful situations is being involved in a will or trust dispute. In Texas, they can be contested for a variety of reasons. Chenault Law Firm is proud to serve our clients in whatever capacity they may need when a dispute arises.
We understand how complex and tricky these cases can be. Our commitment to our clients is to do our best to make their case less stressful, less time consuming, and less complex. Disputes can be very frightening if you and your family rely on a trust or the correct interpretation of a will. The best thing you can do is find legal help you can trust from compassionate and experienced team of probate and fiduciary litigation attorneys at the Chenault Firm.
We provide quite a few specific services to help you depending on the type of dispute including, but not limited to:
In certain contested matters, depending on the circumstances, we may even agree to take on your case on a contingency basis. We are very selective about which cases we offer contingency fees on and we adhere to the strict ethical and legal standards. If you live in the greater Denton area or anywhere else in North Texas and have questions, please just fill out the form on this page or call us at 972.591.0099 to schedule a no-obligation first consultation.
Probate & Estate Administration
The legal process of administering an estate to heirs and beneficiaries is known as probate. In general, this is a court supervised process that involves the settling of debts, claims, taxes, etc. owed by and to the estate as well as the distribution of the remaining assets of the estate to heirs and beneficiaries.
At the Chenault Law Firm, our Denton Probate Attorneys take pride in helping our clients navigate the complex process of probate and estate administration.
We do so with expertise and respect for the emotional complexities of the situation. If you are in Denton County or anywhere else in North Texas seeking a qualified, experienced, and impartial estate administrator, give us a call at 972.591.0099 or fill out the form on this page.
Have questions about your situation? Need some advice you can trust? Go ahead and call or fill out the form below for a no-obligation first consultation.
A trust is a legal document that sets up a trustee as a person with a fiduciary duty to a set of beneficiaries specified by the trust. Typically, these duties include the prudent management and investment of assets owned by the trust as well as impartiality, loyalty, and the duty to not self-deal or otherwise create a conflict of interest with their role as trustee. A trustee also has a legal duty to account for their actions.
Often times disputes arise when the trustee engages in fraud, self-dealing, or some other form of trust mismanagement.
Litigation may be the proper response for other bad acts by a trustee. This could include a demand for an accounting or a distribution. In Texas, you never want to enter into any sort of trust litigation without experienced attorneys who both know your situation and the law.
The Chenault Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Denton County and all of North Texas with quality, effective, and compassionate trust litigation services.
Muniment Of Title Probates
One of the quickest and most affordable ways in the State of Texas to have a will legally probated is to probate it as a muniment of title. Doing this allows estate property to be transferred directly to beneficiaries or heirs named in the decedent’s will without having to go through complex, costly, and time-consuming procedure of an estate administration. The Muniment of Title option only applies in limited circumstances and our firm can evaluate your specific circumstances to see if this option is available.
The Chenault Law Firm is proud to offer muniment of title services to clients in Denton County and all of North Texas.
Do you have questions about a mumiment of title in Texas or wish to discuss your situation with our team? Just fill out the form below or give us a call at 972.591.0099 and we can talk about your options in your initial consultation.
Simple Probate Administrations
Many people fear probate administration because of how long, drawn out, and complicated the process can be. However, the State of Texas allows for a form of estate administration that can actually be fairly simple to complete. Executors and administrators may be able to serve with limited supervision by the court.
Because they do not have to get the court’s approval, this allows a far more expedited and efficient administration process than is often available in other states. What’s more, they allow the estate to avoid the significant court fees associated with paying an executor that is not independent. There are a few stipulations that must be met for an independent administration in the state of Texas:
1. The will itself specifically states that the executor of the will should work independently.
2. If there is no will or no provision for an independent executor in the will, an independent executor can still be used as long as all benefactors and heirs agree to this.
In Texas, when it comes to contesting a will or defending, most attorneys charge hourly fees and expenses incurred. This is the normal way we bill for these matters at the Chenault Law firm. However, in some circumstances, we will work on contingency fees to contest a will. This means that we will advance the fees for our services until the case is over.
If you win your case, the owed fees and expenses will be deducted from your recovery. This does mean that we take on a certain amount of risk with the case ourselves. For this reason, we like to carefully consider a will contest case before offering contingency fees. The Chenault Law Firm adheres to the strict ethical and legal requirements that apply to contingency fee agreements.
If you live in Denton or anywhere else in North Texas and have more questions about contingency fees or would like to see if your case qualifies, we’d be glad to offer a no-obligation consult. Just fill out the form on this page or call us at 972.591.0099 to get started.
Determinations Of Heirship
In the event that a loved one passes away without having a will in place, there may be issues that arise concerning the rightful heirs and who is legally entitled to the descendants’ property. Texas law specifies how proceedings to determine heirship should proceed.
The Chenault Law Firm proudly serves Denton County and the surrounding North Texas area with representation, counsel, and assistance in accordance with Texas law on determinations of heirship. We understand how difficult such a time can be and how the added stress of needing to determine heirship only complicates the matter. We will do everything we can to help the application and determination proceedings so you can trust things will be handled in the best possible manner while providing you the emotional space you need to grieve.
Denton County Probate, Fiduciary Litigation & Contested Administration Law Firm
The Chenault Law Firm handles a wide array of disputes involving probate, estates, and trusts.
Breach Of Fiduciary Disputes & Litigation
Executors, Administrators and Trustees have a fiduciary duty to their heirs and beneficiaries. Texas compels those in such roles to honor their duty towards beneficiaries and to avoid any actions that would be considered misconduct or failure to act appropriately.
In the event a Trustee, Administrator or Executor breaches their fiduciary duties to one or more beneficiaries, they can be held liable for any resulting damages. Common types of misconduct that could be legally considered in Texas to be a breach of fiduciary duty include, but are not limited to:
- Any willfully illegal or fraudulent acts
- Any kind of self-dealing
- The unauthorized removal of any kind of property from the estate
- Any kind of imprudent or negligent management of the estate
- Failure to carry out the explicit orders of a trust or will
Litigation over a fiduciary breach can involve entities or individuals responsible for the violation of duties. These are often difficult cases. Our experienced Fiduciary Litigation team has years of experience representing clients in and mediating fiduciary disputes. We can help you safely navigate one of the more complex legal issues that you can encounter during a time when you are already dealing with loss.
Want to talk about your situation? Not sure what the right next step is? Has your trustee or executor failed to meet clear obligations despite all your efforts? If you live in Denton County or the surrounding North Texas area, the Chenault Law Firm is here to help.
Texas Probate Law covers far more than simply wills and their execution. In fact, it covers a wide array of other important legal documents as well as those appointed to represent them in their various capacities. For this reason, the Chenault Law Firm is also pleased to offer legal services to help represent your interests in a dispute involving a trust or trustee.
A trust is created by a settlor to provide for designated beneficiaries during their lifetime or upon their death. A trust document can be interpreted by courts where it is unclear.
Disputes with a trust can cover more than an interpretation of the language of the trust document. Often times, they focus on the behavior of the trustee, whose job it is to oversee the trust for the beneficiaries. There are a variety of issues the Chenault Law Firm can aid with in a trust dispute, including:
- Any claims of forgery, fraud, or mistake
- Any challenges made to the mental capacity of a trust’s Settlor
- Any actions to terminate a trust
- Any actions to reform or modify a trust
- Claims of a breach of fiduciary duty
- Legal actions to compel a Trustee to provide accountings or distributions
- Legal actions to remove and then replace a Trustee
If you live in North Texas and have more questions about these or any other legal issues with a Trust you may need legal advice or representation for, please fill out the form or call us at 972.591.0099 today.
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The Chenault Law Firm – Denton Probate Attorneys
Knowledgeable. Experienced. Professional
The Chenault Law Firm
Flower Mound, Texas 75028
1413 E McKinney St Denton, TX 76209
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