Board Certified, Estate Planning and Probate Law - Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Av Preeminent rated, Martindale Hubbell
Too often, Texas creditors do not collect debts owed by people who have died, even when their estates have sufficient assets to pay.
Most Texas probate practitioners have been involved in cases where creditors have failed to collect a substantial amount justly owed, even though assets were available for payment. Usually this is simply because the complex and specific requirements for making, preserving, and collecting a claim under the Texas Probate Code were not followed. These rules can be confusing and time-consuming to those unfamiliar with Texas probate procedures.
Most such losses are avoidable with appropriate, systematic, and knowledgeable representation.
It is essential that those responsible for collecting claims understand that collections involving a decedent cannot successfully be conducted in the same way as other past due accounts. Every account involving a decedent requires prompt and appropriate legal action to preserve that claim. Failure to act properly and promptly may result in the claim being barred by a very short statute of limitations, being placed in line for payment behind all other creditors, or being subjected to non-payment for other technical reasons — even where there are sufficient assets in the estate to pay all claims in full. See Texas Probate Collections Time Limits for important dates related to asserting claims.
The Law Office of Walter Wm. Hofheinz offers state-wide Texas probate collection representation to creditors, on a predictable, systematized, cost-effective basis. We offer routine representation that includes all required actions to assert, establish, and collect undisputed claims against estates on a fixed fee basis with no “extras.” No actions other than those included within the fixed fee will be required to collect from the vast majority of estates.
Each case is broken into an intial stage, with a fee of $775, and individually priced follow-up stages reflecting the type of estate administration instituted. Total fees in most cases are $1,375 or less. See Texas Probate Collection Fees for complete details. All or part of this amount may be recoverable from the estate of the debtor through the claim process under the Texas Probate Code. This can represent a substantial savings as compared with representation by the hour and a substantial return as compared with the claims that go unpaid because the procedures are not followed.
Our system is designed for the establishment and collection of undisputed claims — the ones that so often are not collected because of technicalities, or that are collected at inappropriate expense.
Sometimes, of course, claims will be disputed. This usually happens after disallowance by an Independent Executor, or through appeal of an adverse determination of the probate court in a Dependent Administration. The firm also provides representation for those cases; however, since adversarial proceedings are intrinsically unpredictable, representation in such proceedings is available on an hourly basis, with rates charged by the firm currently ranging from $250 to $395 per attorney hour. Assistance in evaluation of whether such a course is advisable is included in the fixed fee for the initial stages of such a case, with no additional charges unless a decision is made to go forward with litigation.
If retained, the firm works with the client's legal and other staff to implement our workable system, assuring maximum likelihood of payment of each claim. For those clients, such as credit card issuers, with recurring claims, we provide forms and guidelines to be used in forwarding claims for collection, with both web-based and traditional processes available.
Please call us at 214.363.2400 to discuss representation, email Walter, or contact the attorney of your choice to determine the particular application of the law to your claim.