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Probate & Wills

Probate & Wills Lawyers in Killeen, TX

Wills, Trusts & Probate Representation in Central Texas

Planning for the future is something many families in Texas have on their minds. Whether you are just starting as a married couple or considering retirement, it is essential to consider estate planning as you consider your future goals.

It is never too early or too late to use proper estate planning tools to help secure your financial future and that of your children or grandchildren. Estate planning can also be critical in business entities and business succession planning. This is an area of the law that genuinely requires experience and knowledge.

At Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P., our team of estate planning lawyers has extensive experience. We have been helping Texans in Killeen, Temple, Bell County, and across the state's central region achieve their estate planning goals for decades.

Call (254) 765-9552 or submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation with a Killeen probate and wills attorney. Hablamos español.

Our FAQ

Have questions? We are here to help. Still have questions or can't find the answer you need? Give us a call at 254-765-9552 today!

  • What is probate and why is it necessary?
    Probate is the legal process of validating a person’s will and managing the distribution of their estate after death. It ensures the proper transfer of the testator’s assets, settles their debts and addresses any challenges or disputes. Once probate is finished, the estate is considered “closed.”
  • In which scenarios is probate required for an estate in Texas?
    Probate is necessary in Texas when a person dies with or without a will. With a will, it ensures assets are distributed as per the deceased’s wishes; without a will, it follows state intestacy laws. There are estate planning strategies, however, that can bypass probate.
  • What constitutes a valid will in Texas?
    A valid will in Texas must generally be in writing, signed by the testator (maker of the will), and witnessed by at least two credible individuals 14 years of age or over who were present during the signing.
  • What are the key elements a will should contain according to Texas law?
    A valid will in Texas should include an unambiguous statement that it is intended to serve as the testator’s Final Will and Testament. It must also contain clear instructions about how the testator wishes their assets to be divided and designate an executor to oversee the distribution of those assets.
  • How can a probate attorney assist during the administration of a decedent’s estate?
    Estate administration involves a lot of steps. A probate attorney can assist an executor by preparing legal documents, navigating all the legal requirements of probate, guiding the asset distribution and addressing challenges or disputes that may arise during the process.
  • How can a probate dispute be handled or avoided?
    It is always better to avoid probate disputes when possible. Clear estate plans created with the aid of an experienced attorney can minimize the chances of a dispute or a successful challenge to your will. However, if a dispute arises, our Killeen or Temple attorneys know how to address it efficiently.

Choosing The Right Estate Planning Tools

At our law firm, we seek to customize an estate plan for each client. We are committed to providing catered and personal attention, as everyone has different goals and needs.

Our estate planning practice is vast and includes all types of services, including:

  • Drafting and revising wills or living wills
  • Selecting the appropriate executor of the will
  • Creating complex or simple trusts
  • Establishing healthcare directives or Powers of Attorney
  • Resolving estate disputes and estate litigation

We can discuss your specific needs with you and help you create a comfortable and appropriate plan for your unique goals.

Probate & Will Contests

Probate in Texas law refers to the legal process after a person’s death, where their estate is administered and distributed. This involves validating the deceased’s will, inventorying their property, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets as the will dictates or if no will exists, per Texas state laws.

Probate can be a complex process in many cases. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help make the process go more smoothly. Our legal team handles all types of probate matters, whether filing with the probate court or handling a will contest or dispute. 

Our Legacy of Trust and Success Hear From Our Happy Clients

At Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P., your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.

    "Beyond Pleased"
    My experience at Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer was a great blessing. Ms.Tanya kept in touch with me very faithfully on my case. I would tell anyone to partner up with them. They were very helpful and respectful. I count it all joy.
    - Tamara R.
    "Went Above and Beyond"
    Most professional legal assistance I've ever received. They will explain and walk through the entire process at every step so you are fully comfortable and will do their absolute best to fully help you in your legal journey so that it is beneficial to you.
    - Sheldon H.
    "They Know Their Stuff"
    Highly recommend these attorneys. They stayed on top of the whole case from start to finish with constant updates. Irma was very professional and was easy to work with.
    - John L.
    "Cannot Recommend Them Enough"
    Mr. Alcozer is the best attorney in the world. He became a trusted friend of my husband and I. We are so thankful God brought him our way. He is the best at what he does!
    - Nichole J.
    "They Truly Care"
    This firm is top notch and I highly recommend them. Now that my husband has passed away, they took care of everything and were there when I needed them the most. I was so lost in it all.....Bless them all.
    - Mary F.
    "Hard Work & Dedication"
    MBA did an awesome job and I would like to thank Manuel for his hard work and dedication in representing my daughter on her SSI disability case. We were able to get a hearing and the case went well.
    - Yvonne R.
    "Will Hire Again"
    I was very pleased with Mr.Alcozer's service. He and Irma were very friendly and helpful each time I called. I will definitely use his services if needed again.
    - Sandy M.
    "Honest & Professional"
    Alcozer and his son both sent me home with one word after my case…WINNING!!! Thank you both for the no-nonsense straight to the facts kind of approach.
    - Modern Revolution

Why Choose Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P.? Our Commitment to You

  • Unyielding Commitment to Justice
    We tirelessly pursue accountability for those responsible for your injury, ensuring they are held accountable for their actions.
  • Relentless Pursuit of Fair Compensation
    We fight fiercely to secure the maximum compensation you deserve, recognizing the profound impact a personal injury can have on your life and livelihood.
  • Empathetic Guidance Through Adversity
    We stand by your side with unwavering support and understanding, providing guidance and reassurance during what may be one of the most challenging times in your life.
  • Resolute Advocacy for Your Rights
    With determination and expertise, we navigate the complexities of the legal system on your behalf, steadfastly protecting your rights and interests at every turn.

How Trusts Can Help Avoid Probate

A trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to transfer ownership of assets to a trustee who manages them to benefit beneficiaries. Assets placed in a properly established trust typically avoid probate, potentially saving time and money during the estate settlement.

Benefits of using trusts for estate planning:

  • Reduced probate costs: Bypassing probate can save the estate from probate fees and court costs.
  • Privacy: Trust documents are generally not made public records, unlike wills used in probate.
  • Flexibility: Trusts offer more flexibility in managing and distributing assets according to your wishes.

Probate Disputes

 It is always better to avoid probate disputes when possible. Clear estate plans created with the aid of one of our Killeen attorneys can minimize the chances of a conflict or a successful challenge to a will. However, if a dispute arises, our team knows how to address it efficiently. 

Typical Timelines for Texas Probate

The duration of probate in Texas varies depending on the complexity of the estate. Generally, uncontested cases with minimal assets can be resolved within six to 12 months. More complex estates with significant assets or beneficiary disagreements can take considerably longer, potentially stretching to years.

Valid Wills in Texas

A valid will in Texas must generally be in writing, signed by the testator (maker of the will), and witnessed by at least two credible individuals 14 years of age or over who were present during the signing. It should include an unambiguous statement that it is intended to serve as the testator’s Final Will and Testament. It must also contain clear instructions about how the testator wishes their assets to be divided and designate an executor to oversee the distribution of those assets.

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