Estate Planning Law: Life Estate, Wills, Executor & Probate


Estate planning is an extraordinarily complex area of the law, and failing to meet state guidelines in any small way can render all of your hard work void. The law offices of Canton, TX, estate attorney Zachary S. Elliott are here to guide you through all aspects of estate planning and administration. Whether you need assistance in drafting a will or have questions regarding probate, we can provide answers to your questions and ensure that an estate is distributed properly.


Estate Planning

Estate planning encompasses all the tasks that are included in making and executing a comprehensive plan for how your estate will be distributed when you die. Although it is commonly thought of as a necessity only for the very wealthy, the truth is that everyone has an estate. Your house, car, furniture, life insurance proceeds, bank accounts, and other personal assets comprise your estate; yet good estate planning involves more than physical items.


How, where, and by whom do you want to be cared for if you become disabled? Who do you want to raise your children if you pass away before they are adults? Do you need to make special provisions for disabled family members, or those who are irresponsible with money? Do you own a business that will need to be transferred to someone else? We know what questions to ask and how to help you provide for each of your individual circumstances.


Last Will and Testament

After a loved one has passed, it is important to determine whether he or she had a will.  If there is a valid will under Texas law, it must be “admitted to probate” in order to have any effect.


During this difficult time, information is critical in order to proceed properly.  Did the individual have “testamentary capacity” at the time the will was executed?  Was he or she improperly influenced?  Was the will executed as a result of fraud? Was the will forged and was it executed pursuant to the requirements of Texas law?


To ensure that your last will and testament will withstand this grueling procedure, let us help you draft it. Texas law sets forth very specific guidelines for wills, and failing to follow any of them will likely result in the will’s being declared invalid. This means that your estate will be divided according to a statutory procedure rather than according to your wishes.



Probate is the legal process of wrapping up your final affairs. It includes everything from proving the validity of your will to paying your creditors and distributing the remainder of your estate. The process is lengthy, especially for complex estates, and many families are eager to avoid it.


Fortunately, good estate planning can keep your estate out of probate. We have the expertise to help you create a probate-free situation that works for your family.


If someone close to you has passed away with an estate that is going into probate, you might be named as executor of the estate. Hiring a probate lawyer will help you manage your responsibilities and ensure that the probate process goes as smoothly as possible.


Attorney Zachary S. Elliott is a Van Zandt County native. He graduated from Grand Saline High School before going on to Dartmouth and earning his Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University. While attending law school, he had the opportunity to study international law in Lyon, France. His office regularly advises clients on the difficult issues you may now be facing. If you are ready to move forward with a Canton attorney who wants the best for you and your family, call us today at (903) 567-4515.