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Questions Answered by Isaac Shutt
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My sister died and before her estate could be probated to her son, my nephew, he died.

I am filing to be Executor and received a huge bill from criminal attorney (hired in error by my nephew to help with probate). Most charges are after my nephew's death and no contract. Doesn't the lawyer's obligation terminate upon client's death?

In Texas.

Thank you

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jun 28, 2020

You are required to have an attorney to probate the will and to become the executor. Your probate attorney should be able to easily help you with this. The probate attorney will probably advise you to send the criminal attorney a "permissive creditor notice." Then, even if the criminal... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Dad and I had a joint checking account. He passed away recently. Is that account property of the estate?
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jun 4, 2020

No, not if you were "joint tenants with right of survivorship" on the account. You can ask the bank, and they should tell you. If you're not, then the account probably belongs to the Estate.

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Do I need a prenup if I am in a 12 year relationship with no plans on getting married in the near future?

We do not call each other husband and wife, no paperwork except an old rent agreement in both of our names.

Main concern is can my partner get any sort of support from me if we do split up?

Thank you

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on May 27, 2020

YES! You should have at least a basic will. In all wills we prepare at our law office, we put in a little clause about marital status. This one sentence could save your heirs lots of expense and hassle. You should also consider a cohabitation agreement. Also, I notice you're in PA.... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: I want to leave everything to my wife. But it is a large estate.....$30 million or so. Is it all tax free to her?

If I leave her everything except $2milion to 3 children, is all still free of estate tax?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on May 15, 2020

I agree with the prior answers. The short answer to your question is "YES," you can do this without estate tax. However, it wouldn't be automatic. You definitely need an estate planning attorney in your area to get this drawn up correctly. Doing so could literally save millions of dollars.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Grandparents own 150 acres and a home in Texas. Gmom died 6 yrs ago & willed her 1/2 of the land to grandkids. Grandpa..

..died last yr and willed his 1/2 to 1 son only. How soon after her death could Gmoms estate be finalized and her half of land be distributed to kids? Did we have to wait until grandpa died to split all the land up and distribute to aires?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on May 5, 2020

Sounds like everything is ready to be distributed now. In cases like these, I think it's important to move quickly to protect your inheritance rights. There are deadlines for probating wills. Probate is the process of validating the will by a judge. This must be done for title purposes.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Jailbird brother won't sign to sell moms house. The other 5 of us want to sell. There was no will/probate. Can we sell?

I have affidavits of heirship, and POA from 4 of my 5 siblings (heirs). There is one heir in Jail. He was living in the house with mom when she died 6 years ago. She had no will, so he was squatting and turned it into a drug house. We missed probate. He's now been in jail a year. His drug... Read more »

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Apr 29, 2020

If you do find a will, you have 4 years to probate. If there's no will, then you will need to go to probate court to get an "administrator" appointed by the judge. The administrator will have the power to sell the home. The cost of going to court can be reimbursed from the sale of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Who do I contact for trust docs if the trustee and trustor are deceased??

After my mother passed I found out that she created a trust.. Since she passed, the trustee has also passed and the firm no longer operates under the same name and I was wondering how do I go about locating these documents and who do I contact now that the trustee it's deceased also.

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Apr 23, 2020

If you contact a probate attorney in your area, he/she can email the local law firms to see if anyone had your mother's file. If not, then you can operate as if there's no trust document. This would mean that your mother's heirs inherit the trust assets. Assuming she wasn't... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My brother died intestate on April 4,2020. He had no real property. Can I avoid probate?
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Apr 21, 2020

Definitely maybe. If he had no will, had more than $75,000, and owed less than $75,000 in creditor claims, then you could probably use a "Small Estate Affidavit." If he had a will, that's the way to go. If he had no will but he has more than $75,000, then you will do a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My father passed 4 years ago & I havent gone through probate court yet. Are there legal ramifications for this?
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Mar 29, 2020

Yes, there are. However, the legal ramifications are not insurmountable.

So, the typical deadline for probating a will in Texas is four years. However, you can probate the will as a "muniment of title" beyond the four-year deadline. Depending on your local probate court,...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: If a temporary guardian settled and collected monies outside of court. Does that money go to the new guardian?

After I became a guardian. I found out the temporary guardian settled outside of court with the boarding home that was neglecting my father. I was never inform and this info was hidden from me. I found all this out on my own. My father is now deceased. Shouldn't that money have gone to the... Read more »

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Mar 13, 2020

You should definitely have a probate/guardianship lawyer file on your behalf. The temporary guardian should have turned the money over and should have accounted for how every dime was used.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Grandma has a will leaving everything to her children. Her son died last year do his children get his half?
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Mar 12, 2020

It depends on the order of the deaths. If the son died before grandma, then you have to look at the alternate beneficiaries listed in grandma's will. If son died after grandma, then the son's share would probably go through the son's estate (ie, son's share would flow through the son's will).

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: If I sign and cash my inheritance check does that mean I accept it and can't press charges if I need too?

My suppose to get my Inhertitenace check this week. If I feel the check is too low and I want to look further into what the executor did, should I not cash it? Is cashing it mean I accept everything he did?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Feb 14, 2020

You would probably be okay to cash the check. However, it is definitely better to have a consultation with a probate attorney. Many offer free or low-cost consultation meetings. When you meet with the attorney, bring the actual check you received in addition to all the paperwork you have... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: What do I do if uncle says I receive no inheritance from grandparents, doesn’t show me the will, and hasn’t filed it?

The will supposedly went like this: If one grandparent died, the spouse gets all. Then it was divided equally among their 2 children.

However my father passed before my grandparents. When my father learned he had terminal cancer, he mentioned that my siblings and I would receive his share... Read more »

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Feb 12, 2020

I agree with the earlier answers. Meet with a probate attorney in the Dallas area ASAP. Many offer free or low-cost consultation meetings. We can actually look at the probate court records to see if maybe your uncle has filed something and you just didn't know. The fact that your uncle is... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My mom passed away and she left me a large some of money, but my step dad says I have to wait until he dies? Why ?
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Feb 4, 2020

Your step dad may be right, but probably not. We would really need to see your mother's will or trust to see if there's any legal reason at all that you wouldn't get your inheritance right away.

If your mother had no will, then you should get your inheritance right away....
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: My elderly mother has dementia, her house has deteriorated, I was wondering what the mortgage lender could do legally?
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jan 29, 2020

As long as the mortgage payments are current, there should not be a problem. The biggest thing for them is simply that they get their money. If your mother can't afford to make the payments, then you'll either need to help her refinance the mortgage or sell the property.

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Can anyone give me information on what to do about elder mother not able to live alone. I live in Tx

I live in Tx. with my mother who is 84 and I know she has some form of dementia but hasn't been diagnosed by a specialist. I can't get her to go to the neurologist even though her regular dr wanted her to be evaluated. She needs help either needs to be placed in a home or... Read more »

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jan 28, 2020

First of all, I'm sorry you're in this position. My heart always goes out to people assisting a parent with memory or other cognitive problems. It is very tough.

I recommend calling Adult Protective Services ("APS") and the Department of Aging and Disability Services...
Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: What can be done when the state seeks guardianship of my dad?

Dad was a good and slow driving. He has some memory issues which exacerbated when mom passed suddenly. He got lost one foggy night and stopped in a strange part of town. He didn't have his phone. The police took him to a hospital, the state got involved without contacting me. I have medical... Read more »

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jan 20, 2020

I agree with the two prior answers. Go see a guardianship attorney to try and become your dad's guardian.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: How do I transfer my dads guardianship from california to texas. We have already moved and I have guardianship of him .

He lives with me and I am his caregiver

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jan 17, 2020

Yes, you'll need a guardianship attorney in your area to request a transfer of the guardianship case. This can be very straightforward. In fact, some of the probate judges do not even require a hearing. Start with a free consultation with a guardianship attorney in your area.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: My mother was left a condo in her deceased husband's will 4 years ago. She has not changed the name from him to her.

I want to buy the condo and was not sure if she can when it's still in his name. She is owner financing it for me and I got a contract drawn up but want to be sure it would be legal for her to be named as the seller or does the name of the owner be changed to her before executing the contact

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jan 15, 2020

Also, make sure that the will has actually been to probate. You only get 4 years to take a will to probate, by default. If the will hasn't been probated, then get with a probate lawyer quickly so you can get squared away. After that, you can deal with the paperwork to sell the condo to you... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: How long does an executor have to file and complete the paperwork for a will?

It will be 15 months in february and the the estate is not closed yet. How long does he have to complete this? He seems to be dragging it out because he doesn't have time to do it. Will he eventually get in trouble with the court?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jan 9, 2020

Yes, after 15 months from the date of the probate hearing, any beneficiary can submit a demand for accounting to the executor. This demand is oftentimes prepared by a lawyer. Then, the executor has to respond with a line-by-line transaction list for the estate. Also, in the response, the... Read more »

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