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The mission of the Probate Court is:
- to preserve, protect, maintain, or distribute as needed or required the property of a decedent's estate according to law;
- to determine whether a proposed ward is incapacitated and, if so, to create and monitor the least restrictive guardianship necessary to promote and protect the well-being of the person and to encourage self-reliance and independence;
- to help provide court-ordered mental health services to those in need while protecting the rights of mentally incapacitated persons;
- to handle expeditiously all civil-litigation cases on the COurt's docket (which are related to probate and guardianship cases already filed in the Court);
- to expeditiously handle the initial administration of condemnation cases involving land in Travis county; and
- to help attorneys fully understand the processes of the Court so that hearings and other interchanges between attorneys and the Court can be as efficient, smooth, and pleasant as possible for everyone involved.
The probate court probates the wills of deceased persons, declares the heirs of deceased persons who die without a will, establishes guardianships for incapacitated persons and minors, supervises court-ordered involuntary mental health commitments, and administers all eminent domain cases initiated in Travis County.
The probate court also has jurisdiction to hear lawsuits appertaining to or incident to an estate of a decedent or ward as well as actions by or against a personal representative of a decedent's or ward's estate. These ancillary cases cover a wide range of topics, from products liability to fiduciary litigation to medical malpractice to family law.
- Michael Gianotti, LMSW
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