Our San Antonio probate attorneys help clients probate wills, obtain letters testamentary, transfer title of estate assets, negotiate with all types of creditors and administer the probate estate. We represent, counsel, and guide administrators, executors, and personal representatives in probate, and we represent, counsel, and guide trustees of credit shelter trusts, marital trusts, descendant’s trusts, and lots of other trusts to ensure your fiduciary duties are fulfilled and the terms of the will and trust are completed.

“I want to thank you again for walking me through the probate process. This has been a very difficult time and you have most definitely helped to ease the burden of it all. Thank you for being so compassionate and caring and willing to listen to me always. You have been a blessing to me! With sincere appreciation.” – Jill, Seguin

We help residents in Sun City, Georgetown and San Antonio Texas probate wills, obtain letters testamentary, transfer title of estate assets, negotiate will all types of creditors, and administer the estate.

What is Probate?

What two things must happen in order for a last will and testament to be useful? Keep reading you’ll come to the answer. Some people say that a will must go through probate. What is probate?

Simply put the term probate comes from the latin word probare, which means to test or prove. One purpose of probate is to prove the validity of the will – for the judge to make an official certification proving that the Will is real.

Why must a judge look at the will? Some wills are invalid. Some studies show that 7% of wills are invalid. Other studies show 9%. Who remembers Howard Hughes? Several different competing wills were introduced for probate after the famous actor Howard Hughes died. What is probate in Texas?

In Texas, there are seven different court actions that can occur within a proceeding relating to a decedent’s estate. “Probate matter,” “probate proceedings,” “proceeding in probate,” and “proceedings for probate” are synonymous and include a matter or proceeding relating to a decedent’s estate. The “decedent” is the person who died and is leaving the inheritance.

What two things must happen in order for a last will and testament to be useful? (1) The testator (the person who wrote the will) must die (that makes him or her the decedent), and (2) the will must be probated. The beneficiary of a will cannot claim his inheritance before the death of the testator. The will is not legally enforceable until it is probated. Probate, remember, is when a judge issues an order that the will is valid.

The will should be filed for probate in the county in which the decedent resided prior to death. Attorney Todd A. Marquardt has appeared in probate proceedings in Bexar County, Williamson County, Wilson County, Comal County, Guadalupe County, Uvalde County, and Kendall County.


Have you ever personally changed the oil in your automobile? I have. It is one of those things that some people figure out, do themselves, and save money. It is also one of those things that can lead to very significant damage and high repair costs. I can tell you from my own experience that you must make sure the seal for the old oil filter is removed before you install the new oil filter. If you forget, like I did, there will be a big oil mess and a big price to pay to fix the engine.

The same is true for administration of a probate estate and dissolution and termination of a trust. It is possible for an individual to administer a probate estate or a trust without the help of a professional. It is not, however, advisable.

“A probate personal representative, independent executor, and trustee all have fiduciary duties. The fiduciary duty is the highest duty imposed by law. The law requires that the personal representative, executor, and trustee follow the instructions of the will or trust and also to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Just like a mistake while changing the oil in your automobile is costly, a mistake made acting as personal representative, executor, or trustee is also expensive. A breach of the fiduciary duty will result in personal liability of the personal representative, executor, or trustee.” – Todd A. Marquardt, Managing Attorney and President

“One of the few certainties in life is our own demise. While this not a pleasant thought, it is a reality.  Upon the death of a loved one, families are often dealing with grief, uncertainty and the stress associated with the daunting task of handling the affairs of the Estate. Whether a loved one passed on leaving a written will or not, the specter of maneuvering the legal system can be overwhelming, but it is often necessary.  Within my own family I have seen the turmoil that can be created upon the death of a loved one and in my experiences I have seen how animosity, tension and distrust can be created when an Estate is not properly handled.  These experiences have led me to approach every probate and estate administration as a partnership with my client and to approach their situation not only as an advocate, but also a compassionate and sympathetic guide through the process.  I believe strongly in resolving every probate and estate administration quickly, diligently and with as little stress as possible for my clients.  While I cannot guarantee that every case will be simple, I can say with all confidence that your matter will be handled with all of the care and compassion it deserves and that you, as a client, will be treated like an individual, not a cause number.” – Todd A. Marquardt, Managing Attorney and President