What Does a Probate Attorney in Houston Do?

What is Probate in Houston, Texas?

Probate in Houston, Texas, is a court process that ensures a person's will (if they have one) is real, pays any bills they owe, and gives their belongings to the right people when they pass away.

Here's a very simple overview of how it works:

  1. Validating the Will: If they left a will, the court checks to ensure it's valid and reflects what the deceased wanted.
  2. Paying Debts: Any debts or bills they owe are paid off before anything else. It's like settling their accounts one last time.
  3. Distributing Belongings: Finally, whatever is left - their belongings, money, property - gets passed on to family, friends, or whoever they chose in their will.

Navigating Different Types of Probate in Texas

Houston offers two main paths in probate: dependent and independent administration. Both are ways to manage someone's estate but fit different situations.

Dependent Administration

This path is like having a guide in a maze. It's used when things are complex - maybe the family isn't agreeing, or the estate is complicated. Here's what makes it unique:

Dependent administration might take longer and involve more steps, but it's designed to handle sensitive situations carefully.

Independent Administration

Imagine a highway with fewer stops - that's independent administration. It's used when there's a will that everyone agrees on and things are more straightforward. Here's what makes it different:

In independent administration, the focus is on efficiency while still honoring the deceased person's wishes.

The Probate Process Explained

When someone passes away, the first thing to do is to check if they have a will. A will is a legal document that says who should get the person's belongings after they die. If there's a will, it needs to be given to the probate court. This court looks at the will and makes sure it's okay to use. If the person didn't leave a will, then the state of Texas uses a set of rules called intestacy laws. These laws are like a plan that decides who gets what from the person's estate (that's all the stuff they owned).

The Work of the Executor or Administrator

Whether there's a will or not, the executor or administrator has a lot to do. They need to find all the person's belongings, like bank accounts, houses, cars, and even smaller items like jewelry. They also have to figure out if the person owed money to anyone, like credit card bills or loans. The next step is the hardest – they need to make sure everything is given to the right people, either as the will says or following the intestacy laws.

Probate With or Without a Will

With a Will

If there's a will, the court first checks to make sure it's valid, which means it was made the right way and is legal. Once the court says the will is good, they let the executor start working. The executor is the person named in the will to take care of the estate. They have a big job. They are responsible for all the things the person owns, like houses, money, and other stuff. They also have to find out what debts the person owed, like loans or bills. The executor's job is to make sure all the debts get paid and then give out what's left to the people named in the will.

Without a Will

If there isn't a will, the court picks someone to handle the estate. This person is called an administrator. Like an executor, the administrator must gather all the belongings, figure out the debts, and pay them. Then, they follow the Texas intestacy laws to give out the remaining stuff. These laws usually give things to the closest family members, like spouses, children, or parents.

Special Cases in Probate

Muniment of Title

Sometimes, the person who passed away might have left only property, like a house, and no debts. In this case, Texas has a simpler way called the Muniment of Title. This method is like a shortcut that skips some of the usual probate steps. It's quicker and easier. The court just needs to confirm that the will is valid, and then the property can be directly transferred to the people named in the will.

Small Estates Affidavit

Another shortcut Texas offers is the Small Estates Affidavit. This is used when the total value of everything the person left behind is a small amount (under a certain amount set by law). If this is the case, there's less paperwork and fewer steps. The family fills out a special form listing all the belongings and who should get them. Then, a judge looks over it and, if everything is okay, gives an order to give these belongings to the named people.

Both these special cases – Muniment of Title and Small Estates Affidavit – can save families a lot of time and money. They are helpful options when dealing with simpler estates.

Why Choose Simple Law TX for Your Probate Needs?

Expertise and Approach

At Simple Law TX, we recognize that dealing with the aftermath of a loved one's passing is incredibly difficult. It's not just about legal procedures; it's about handling a sensitive and emotional time with care and understanding.

Our team brings together expertise in Texas probate law with a compassionate and patient approach. We're here to guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you feel supported and informed. Our goal is to make this challenging period as smooth and stress-free as possible, allowing you to focus on healing and remembrance.

Complete Probate Services

Navigating probate involves a range of tasks, and our team at Simple Law TX is equipped to handle every aspect for you. Here's what we may do:

By entrusting these responsibilities to Simple Law TX, you allow yourself the space and time to grieve without the added stress of legal complexities.

Personalized Attention for Your Unique Situation

Every probate case is unique. We take the time to understand your specific situation and provide tailored solutions that meet your needs. Our approach is centered around clear communication, compassion, and a commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Planning Ahead to Avoid Probate

Many people choose to plan their estates in a way that avoids probate for reasons of privacy, simplicity, and cost-effectiveness. At Simple Law TX, we offer several strategies to help you achieve this:

Each of these options has its nuances, and our team can help you understand which is best suited for your situation, ensuring your estate is managed according to your wishes with minimal complications for your loved ones.

Schedule Your Consultation With a Probate Attorney in Houston Today

At Simple Law TX, we understand that dealing with the legal aspects of a loved one's passing can be challenging and emotional. This is why we're committed to providing you with the guidance and support you need during this difficult time. Call us now at (281) 697-6678 to speak with a Houston Probate Lawyer.

How to get an LLC in Houston, Texas

How Can You Get an LLC in Houston, Texas?

Nearly 493,000 new businesses were formed in Texas in 2021. There were corporations, sole proprietorships, partnerships, and limited liability companies. If you’re considering starting a business, you may wonder how to get an LLC in Houston, Texas. You’re in luck because SimpleLawTX wants to help!

Below are the steps to forming an LLC, the benefits of this business structure, and a few commonly asked questions with answers. If you are ready to work with an experienced LLC attorney, call us at 281-697-6678 to request a consultation. If you want to learn more, keep reading!

What Are the Differences Between a Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, and Corporation in Houston, Texas?

There are quite a few differences between these business structures. Most are in how the business is owned and operated and the tax structure. We’ll explain each below:

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is owned and operated by one person. These businesses often do not require a formal structure because the owner operates and completes business activities under their own name.

Limited Liability Company

The owners or members manage a limited liability company. An LLC is a more formalized structure that benefits the business owner, such as legal protection and more favorable tax structures. LLCs can have one or more business owners.


A corporation is much like an LLC, except the owners are the company's shareholders. Corporations are a better business structure choice for large businesses with investors or several partners.

Of course, there are several other types of business structures. The above three are the most commonly used structures. If you are interested in forming a different type of business, SimpleLawTX would like to help. Contact us at 281-697-6678 to request a consultation.

How to Start an LLC in Houston, Texas

So, you want to start an LLC for your business…what do you do now? There are several steps to take to form an LLC in Texas. Keep reading to learn more about each of them:

Choose a Business Name

You must follow a few rules in Texas when choosing a business name. First, you can’t choose the same name as another business. This ensures potential customers are not confused between two businesses, and there aren’t potential disputes.

Second, you must have “LLC” or “limited liability” within the business name. You can quickly search your desired business name on this site and see if there is already a company registered in Texas with that name.

Choose a Registered Agent

A registered agent is someone who agrees to accept the papers if someone sues the business. It is an agent for service of process in Texas. A registered agent can be another business or person, not the LLC. A physical Texas address is required to be a registered agent.

File a Certificate of Formation

To form the LLC, you must file a certificate of formation. This document must include the following information:

Texas has a filing fee of $300 for this certificate as of 2023. You can mail the certificate or file it online at SOSDirect.

Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a Texas requirement, but the Secretary of State does advise businesses to create one. This document is mostly an internal agreement outlining how the business will operate. Most operating agreements include the following information:

If you are unsure how to draft this document, we recommend you speak to an attorney about the steps. SimpleLawTX wants to help with this! Contact us today to request a consultation.

Obtain an EIN and Other Legal Documents

LLCs with multiple members must have an employer identification number (EIN). This is used for IRS interactions and tax filing. You can apply for an EIN on the IRS website for free.

Additionally, you’ll need to obtain a business license and possibly permits, depending on your business type. If you sell goods or collect sales tax, your business must register with the Texas taxing authority.

Prepare for Annual Reports

Filing an annual report isn’t a requirement for businesses in Texas. Businesses must file annual franchise tax reports, however. These reports are also called “public information reports.” Franchise tax reports can quickly become complicated. We recommend you read more about them or contact an attorney for assistance with this step. Call SimpleLawTX at 281-697-6678.

Benefits of Having an LLC in Houston, TX

Besides offering protection for your business, there are other benefits to forming an LLC. We’ve outlined the top advantages of this business structure below:

Maintain Legal Protection

Owning and operating a business doesn’t come without risks. Creating an LLC protects the member’s personal assets. This means no one can come after the member’s belongings to satisfy debts or other obligations. Each member’s risk equals the amount they invested into the business.

Enable Pass-Through Taxation

Pass-through taxation means the business’s profits, losses, income, and other tax amounts flow through the LLC and are distributed among the members. This allows members to avoid double taxation.

Choose Your Taxation

An LLC can choose pass-through taxation or be taxed like a corporation. This gives the members more control over handling taxes and allows them to choose the best option for the business.

Have Easy Formation and Maintenance

Forming an LLC is a fairly easy process. Deciding how to outline the operating agreement is likely the lengthiest part of the process. And maintaining the LLC is also quite simple. Unlike corporations, shareholder meetings and annual reports are not required.

Create a Flexible Leadership Structure

An LLC can have one or more members. There are no rules around how many an LLC can have. The members can also be the business leaders, meaning they own and operate the company. There are many benefits to having a flexible leadership structure.

Boost Credibility

Do you want your business to look more credible with customers, potential investors, or industry professionals? An LLC does that. It shows everyone that the business is legal and that the owners are serious about achieving success.

LLC Formation FAQs

Many potential clients have questions about business formation in Texas. We’ve proactively gathered and answered the most popular questions about LLCs below:

How Can an LLC Attorney Help in Houston, TX?

Attorneys help clients by providing legal advice and services. Attorneys with knowledge of business law help clients determine the best business structure for their company, among other services.

SimpleLawTX offers several services to help form an LLC. Clients who work with us use our legal knowledge for the following:

Our legal team wants to help with your LLC. Call us today at 281-697-6678 to request a consultation with our business law attorney.

Do I Need to Form an LLC in Houston, Texas?

There are a lot of factors that need consideration before we can answer this question. We recommend you consult an attorney to determine whether an LLC is the appropriate business structure for your company. Click here to request a consultation at SimpleLawTX.

What Is the LLC Meaning?

LLC stands for limited liability company. An LLC offers limited protection and liabilities for business owners. An LLC is a type of business structure. This structure is popular because it allows for limited liabilities, protects the business owners, and has pass-through taxation.

How Much Is an LLC in Houston, Texas?

To file a certificate of formation for an LLC, the fee is currently $300. This is only the filing fee. If you choose to speak with an attorney or have their assistance creating the necessary documents for your business, the fee would increase. At SimpleLawTX, we have a flat fee of $1800 for business formation services.

Can an LLC in Houston, Texas, Have Only One Member?

Yes! Single-member LLCs are valid business structures. LLCs can also have numerous other members. Texas offers many advantages to business owners in the state, regardless of their structure. If you want to learn more, call SimpleLawTX at 281-697-6678 to request a consultation with our business attorney.

Get Help From a Houston, Texas, Business Lawyer Today

Now you know how to get an LLC in Houston, Texas. If you want to bypass the time it takes to navigate the intricacies, you can work with an LLC attorney like SimpleLawTX! At SimpleLawTX, we have the expertise new business owners need to form and run their businesses legally and smoothly.

We want to help you in this new journey. Contact us today to inquire about our business formation services. We look forward to speaking with you!