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Questions Answered by Isaac Shutt
3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My mother just passed away and I was not in town. Her lawyer told the caregiver to lock up the house and leave.

I am listed as executor of the estate on the copy of the will they gave my mother gave me but have not filed for probate yet. Am I able to go and take care of the house and keep the bills up to date or do I have to wait for probate to start?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jan 20, 2021

You'll want to get a Collin County Probate Attorney. Since you are listed as the executor, you need to have a probate lawyer help you get the will probated. Once that's done, you are officially the executor. Once you're the executor, you can handle the estate. The good news is... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Is the executor of my father’s Will required to let me see it. His only heirs are myself and my sister.
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jan 14, 2021

Yes, under Texas Law, the executor must show the beneficiaries must receive a notice after the probate hearing. That notice usually contains a copy of the Will. ALSO, once the will is filed for probate, it's actually public record.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: If the deceased had $ in the bank at death and the executor went and withdrew it that day does he have to account for it
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Dec 28, 2020

If the executor was listed as "joint tenant with right of survivorship," then he/she may be able to legally withdraw those funds and not owe any accounting for the funds. If not, then the executor may have lacked legal authority to withdraw the funds. A good place to start is to find... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Does an executor in Texas have to file either an inventory of the estate or an in lieu of inventory with the court ?
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Dec 28, 2020

Yes, unless the will was probated as a "muniment of title".

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Foreclosure and Probate for Texas on
Q: Recently contacted by an agency regarding surplus funds from my deceased sister's property.

Are those agencies reputable? I'm her only surviving family member, both our parents are deceased. I find nothing noted in our County's surplus listings, nor state listings. How can I verify if there is actual funds? And, do I need to go through the agency who contacted me, or an attorney?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Dec 28, 2020

It may or may not be a scam. If it's NOT a scam, it's probably a company that will collect a hefty contingency fee for assisting you. You would be better off with hiring your own probate lawyer.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: In TX, if a will is not probated within the 4 yrs required, is the estate/assets then divided equally between the heirs?

Father died 7 yrs ago, only found out about it 2 yrs ago due to the back executor trying to filing the will with the county. I was left 10% of the assets, but since the will was never properly probated, am I entitled to an equal share (25%) since there are 4 heirs?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Dec 17, 2020

You're mostly correct. The standard period for probate is 4 years. However, if the proponent of the Will can show that he/she is "not in default" for failing to probate the Will within 4 years, then the court can allow the Will to be probated after the 4-year deadline.

So,...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: In texas , how soon after a death do we have to file a Will?

My grandmother left my uncle to live in her estate until he passes and gave the house to my sisters and I. What are his rights as a life estate tenant and our rights ?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Nov 10, 2020

It would be a good idea to have a lawyer look at the document that gives your uncle a life estate. This is because a "life estate" can be tailored several different ways. Some life estates terminate if the life tenant moves out. Others don't terminate until the life tenant dies.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Need to deposit husband's check since he died (sole beneficiary in will) while waiting on death certificate. Can I?

My common-law husband died after surgery. He had given me durable POA and I am sole beneficiary of his estate. He had just gotten his inheritance check from the sale of his mother's property but hadn't signed it. I can't probate the will until I get a death certificate but want... Read more »

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Oct 24, 2020

You don't need to wait on the death certificate to get started with the probate process. Go ahead and contact a probate attorney to get that process started.

You may be allowed by your spouse's bank to deposit the check into his account, but maybe not. It's worth a try! If...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: I would like to have her removed from fiduciary duties

My daughter is executor of my mothers estate in Texas.

she has failed to provide accounting and also has failed to

distribute the assets to beneficiaries

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Oct 9, 2020

Our law office has a letter we send that requests an accounting. Under Texas Law, if you don't receive a satisfactory response within the allotted time, then the judge can order that that all of the assets be distributed and/or order that the executor be removed.

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2 Answers | Asked in Banking and Probate for Texas on
Q: My husband needs help getting access to his dead father's bank accounts.

My father in law passed away in June 2020. My husband has presented all documentation to the bank within 2 weeks of his dad's passing. However, the bank keeps giving him the runaround. The bank won't provide any information as to any of his dad's accounts or when they will be... Read more »

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Sep 25, 2020

I can imagine that there could be one of two problems:

First, it could be that the bank requires "letters testamentary" or a "small estate affidavit." These can be required by the bank, and you can only get them by going to probate court. If your father in law had a...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My husband died 16 years ago. A vacant lot paid for is in both our names. Our home still being paid for is also in both

our names. All the children are grown and out of the house. There was no will. How do I get the properties in my name?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Sep 19, 2020

In your questions, you state there was no will. So, you have two options. If you're going to hang on to the properties, the cheaper option is called an "affidavit of heirship." If you want to sell within the next five years or so, it might be better to do the title transfer the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: If my grandmother decides to give her house to me, what do I need to do to go about this?
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Sep 16, 2020

I agree with Ms. Garrett. Your grandmother could sign a deed, which would transfer the house to you. A "Ladybird" deed is often recommended in your grandmother's situation. Also, if she doesn't already have a will, she should have a will. In her will, she can leave the house... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: If 2 people, not related, buy a property together and then they both die, do their respective heirs co-own the property?
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Aug 17, 2020

It depends on the deed. Did the deed say they were "joint tenants with rights of survivorship"? If yes, then second-person-to-die's estate owns all of the property. If not, then each half would go to the respective persons' heirs (or will beneficiaries, if they have wills).

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: A holographic will with no assigned executor or independent administrator. How would you file the probate?
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Aug 5, 2020

This is called "probate with will annexed." You can still have an administrator appointed, but you'll need an attorney if you want an administrator. If you don't want or need an administrator, then you can do a "probate as muniment of title only." With muniment of... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: I live in Texas and I have an special needs adult child who lives with me and requires round the clock care.

When I die can I create a will appointing a close friend to be my daughter's guardian/caregiver when I'm gone? Will my daughter's father have any say so to whom is her caregiver? Thanks

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jul 27, 2020

Yes, you can. You also should establish a trust in your will for your daughter. You need to do this so that your daughter doesn't lose her governmental benefits... We don't charge anything extra for adding this type of trust into our clients' wills.

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2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Can a spouse have a person with dementia sign legal papers?

My father is 98 and in a nursing home. He has always been adamant that his house would go to his children. Now his wife, who has insisted for years that he Has dementia, has gotten him to give her the house. What is our recourse?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jul 17, 2020

You should definitely do something. You'll want to get an attorney that does guardianship and also estates law.

If he allegedly gave the wife the house with a deed, then you will need to do something now. If he allegedly gives her the house in the will, then you may have to wait...
Read more »

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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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