Wills & Guardianship: 214.227.6400
9400 N. Central Expy., Ste. 1308
Dallas, Texas 75231
Dallas Probate Attorney Michael A. Duran is one of the few attorneys that has actually worked in the probate court. In fact, Mr. Duran’s experience in probate and guardianship matters began when he served in the Dallas County Probate Court, working directly with Judge Nikki DeShazo. Judge DeShazo is a nationally recognized authority on probate matters and is a past President of the National College of Probate Judges. While working for the Judge, Mr. Duran reviewed approximately 300 applications for probate and guardianship. Mr. Duran also wrote the book, so to speak: he created a manual to instruct future court clerks on the process of reviewing the various probate applications. Later the Dallas Bar Association Probate, Trusts and Estates Section asked Michael to edit the 2014 and 2017 versions of the Section Probate Manual.
After completing his duties for Judge DeShazo, Mr. Duran formed the Duran Firm to exclusively serve probate, guardianship and estate planning clients. Since starting the Firm, Mr. Duran has been involved in over 1,600 cases related to these three areas. In addition to his private clients, Mr. Duran has been appointed by all three Dallas County Probate Courts to serve as an estate administrator, guardian of the person and/or estate, guardian ad litem for alleged incapacitated persons, attorney ad litem for alleged incapacitated persons, and attorney ad litem for unknown heirs.
Effective June 1, 2018, Mr. Duran became Chair of the Probate Council. The Council is the leadership component of the Probate, Trusts and Estates Section of the Dallas Bar Association. The Council coordinates the activities of the Probate Section including monthly CLE, pro bono activities, and coordination between the Dallas Probate Courts and the attorneys. The Section consists of over 800 attorneys.
“You can pay me now, or pay me later” Remember those Fram oil filter commercials where the auto mechanic would explain to his customer that the customer can either pay a small sum now for the replacement of the oil and filter, or a far larger sum later for the replacement of the vehicle’s engine? At the Duran Firm, we believe that a professionally prepared will is like that Fram oil filter. If a person incurred the up-front expense of having an attorney professionally prepare his or her Last Will and Testament, then the probate of his or her estate should be relatively straight-forward. That is why the Duran Firm offers fixed-fee probate in uncontested cases where the Will and estate meet certain requirements. In fact, the overwhelming majority of our probate cases are for a fixed fee.
“You never really know a person until you share an inheritance with them.” Even the most harmonious of families can become contentious under the stress of trying to decide what Mom or Dad would have wanted. Times of great sadness and grief are not often conducive to clear decision making. The immediate retention of a probate attorney by the named or agreed-upon executor can help to minimize conflict within a family that is going through probate. The Duran Firm handles the most complex probate situations, such as contested matters, matters where there is no will, or matters where there are defects with the will. Because there is no way to estimate how contentious or complex these matters will be, the Duran Firm charges an hourly rate in these types of matters. Effective January 1, 2017, The Duran Firm’s hourly rate for attorney’s fees is $300 per hour. The Duran Firm’s hourly rate for paralegal work is $100.00 per hour.
“In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” The Duran Firm was founded on a belief that with prior planning, what is certain does not necessarily have to be difficult or expensive. Planning for the inevitable can provide peace of mind for you and security for your loved ones. Proper estate planning can minimize or eliminate estate taxes and significantly reduce the burdens of post-death estate administration or probate.
United States Air Force Academy with honors, Bachelors of Science
University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Juris Doctorate
Captain, United States Air Force
Associate, Sherman & Howard, LLC; Denver, Colorado
A Dallas probate attorney with extensive experience and reasonable fixed fees, Michael A. Duran has helped over 1,100 clients with their uncontested probate and guardianship matters. We believe that our rates are fair, particularly when you consider the fact that Michael is regularly appointed by all three Dallas County Probate Courts to administer the estates of persons when there is no one else that is qualified to do so.
Many times, sharing an inheritance can be just as bitter as a divorce. The decedent may not have left a will designating an executor to administer the estate. Even worse, the person designated to serve as the executor may be an extremely poor choice for such an important job. In this situation, you need a Dallas probate attorney that can assist you in contesting the appointment of an unqualified person to serve as the executor of the estate. The Duran Firm can also assists clients in holding a previously appointed executor to his or her fiduciary duties, and if necessary, can assist in having the executor removed by the Court.
The Duran Firm can also assist you with the preparation of your Last Will and Testament as well as any ancillary estate planning documents such as a power of attorney or living will. Let us help you make a plan that both preserves your estate for the people you care about while minimizing the burden on your family.
Dallas Probate Attorney Michael A. Duran also has experience in guardianship administration and can help you to obtain a guardianship over your incapacitated adult loved one (due to dementia or intellectual disability). For parents of sons and daughters with special needs who are approaching adulthood, the Duran Firm offers Guardianships for a fixed-fee.
Though Michael Duran is a Dallas probate attorney, we actually practice probate in the following counties in the Dallas / Fort Worth / North Texas area: