Dallas Probate, Wills and Guardianships Attorney

Dallas Probate Attorney

Dallas Probate Attorney

A Dallas Probate, Guardianships, and Estate Planning Attorney that actually worked for the Probate Court.

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.

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 1,100 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.  Mr. Duran is also a member of the Probate, Trusts and Estates Section of the Dallas Bar Association.  The monthly section meetings feature an educational component that enables Mr. Duran to stay current on estate planning and probate law. 

Philosophy

"You can pay me now, or pay me later."  Remember those Fram oil filter commericials 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 June 8, 2009, The Duran Firm's hourly rate for attorney's fees is $225.00 per hour. The Duran Firm's hourly rate for paralegal work is $75.00 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.

Education and Work Experience

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

NORAD Command Center, Colorado; Orbital Analyst; awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal

F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; Minuteman III nuclear missile crew commander

Associate, Sherman & Howard, LLC; Denver, Colorado

Bar and Court Admissions

State Courts of Texas

State Courts of Colorado

United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

Associations and Activities

Dallas Bar Association

State Bar of Texas

Colorado Bar Association