Fannin County is not Dallas County. That is stating the obvious. But it is a point that only lawyers who regularly practice in the Red River area counties understand. Lawyers from Dallas have cars and can buy maps. But that does not mean they know Fannin County jurors, judges and court personnel. We do. We have substantial experience in handling contested probate matters in Fannin County.
Uncontested estates in Fannin County are handled by the Fannin County Judge. The County Judge will admit the will to probate and appoint the executor or administrator.
However, contested estates in Fannin County are transferred to the Fannin County Court at Law. That court handles contested matters such as will contests, fiduciary complaints, guardianship disputes. The Judge of the County Court at Law is very experienced in evaluating issues such as testamentary capacity, undue influence, ambiguous terms in a will, the obligations of a fiduciary, etc. Appeals from Fannin County Court at Law are typically heard by the Texarkana Court of Appeals.
Fannin County has an estimated population of 34,000. Bonham is the county seat, where the courts are located. Fannin County is currently experiencing economic growth, driven by the northward expansion of the DFW metroplex and also by the development of Bois d'Arc Lake.
Land values are rising in Fannin County, due to economic and population growth. This has an impact on contested estates, since it increases the amounts at stake in such disputes. Those increased stakes emphasize the importance of hiring a probate litigation lawyer who has substantial experience in handling contested estates.
Many disputes include the transfers of land through a will. But there can also be disputes regarding the validity of transfers via deeds, pre-death. Common forms of deeds include warranty deeds, Lady Bird deeds, and statutory Transfer on Death Deeds.