Clients often ask me whether probate is necessary. Generally speaking, probate is necessary when a person dies and has yet to transfer his property during life or at death through a non-probate vehicle such as a trust, a joint ownership asset with right of survivorship, an account payable on death or by way of direct payment to a beneficiary under a contract. Probate records can serve as a link in the chain of title so that property can be effectively transferred after death. Often a person dies with both probate and non-probate assets and probate is ultimately necessary for the probate assets. Occasionally, the estate is insolvent. A careful evaluation and analysis of the estate circumstances will determine which probate proceeding is needed. To speak with a Houston Probate Attorney, please contact Stephanie Mudgett Boates at 281-584-0034.