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Questions Answered by Ross F. Tew
2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: My Mom was in the nursing home, and was on medicaid for all but 2 months, that was not covered.

Are the adult children responsible for this, when there was nothing in the estate? (In Texas)

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Apr 23, 2019

No, the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program collects against the assets in the estate, not from the deceased person's heirs.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Want to amend Granddad's birth cert but am not his legal rep. How do I become his legal rep? He died in 1982.

Grandpa was born in 1917. His birth certificate doesn’t show his name & was never amended, so I applied to DSHS to have it amended to show his name--for genealogical purposes.

DSHS’s BC Correction Application asks my relationship to the person named on the BC, but none of the boxes... Read more »

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Mar 27, 2019

I can conceive of no inexpensive solution that would result in a court order. A declaratory judgment action or a determination of heirship may result in the court order vital statistics is requiring. Both procedures would require a minimum of several thousand dollars in attorney fees and court... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Does the executor of the will have to be the one to probate the will or can the beneficiaries get the will probated?

My mother in law passed and left house to my husband and her son but her son doesnt want the house but my husband does how do we get e everything in his name. No one has money for an attorney to probate the will.

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Mar 14, 2019

The first answer is correct. I would add that in the event the first named executor is deceased, incapacitated, or unwilling to sign an affidavit, an interested person, such as a child of the deceased person, has standing to file an application to probate the will or determine the heirs of the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Can a family member whose power of attorney has been revoked evict a live in care giver?

The care giver has power of attorney. 24/7 care for almost 2 years.

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Mar 7, 2019

Evicting a residential tenant requires authority. If the caregiver is living with your family member and was invited to do so by your family member or someone speaking for your family member, then the caregiver is a tenant at will and his or her tenancy can be ended by your family member or... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My husband and his sister are co- executors of their brother's estate. We have just learned that the will she filed in

Court is not the will that their brother wrote. Before he passed, the entire family gathered and he made his wishes known. As a family, we prepared his will, and had a notary come to notarize. It turns out that the notary had an assistant with her. This assistant re-wrote the will by hand,... Read more »

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Aug 20, 2018

The beneficiaries under a will can enter a family settlement agreement which amends the will's terms, but you would want to sit down with an attorney to review the will and the terms you wish to change before drawing up the settlement agreement.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: In Texas, when a minor child dies intestate is probate necessary?

A minor child died and the family is filing a wrongful death suit. Do they need to go through probate?

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Aug 15, 2018

It depends on the cause of action. The administration of a decedent's estate is necessary to pursue a survival action, but not a wrongful death suit. One of the biggest practical differences between a survival action and a wrongful death claim is that with a wrongful death claim, damages... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: I am trying to get my 24 yr old deceased son's medical records.

He lived at home with his parents and was a collage student. the doctor denied my request. said I would need an executor. What do I need to do it obtain them?

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Jul 25, 2018

Find an attorney in your area who handles probate cases.

If your son left a Will and you are the executor named, then your attorney will file an Application with the Probate Court, along with the original Will, and you will have a hearing to prove that the Will is valid and get your...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My grandfather had a Will and he only named 2 executors. We started the Probate process and now neither of them want to

be executor. They do have another brother who said he would be executor but he is not listed. He is in the Will as a beneficiary though. The two other executors agree that the other brother should be the executor. What would be the next steps in appointing the other brother as executor?

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Apr 18, 2018

If you've started the process your attorney should handle this issue. To serve as the personal representative (executor or administrator) of an estate in Texas you must be represented by an attorney at all times. The named executors can each execute a declination to serve and under Chapter 401 of... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Is my brother entitled to a share of my dad's portion of my grandmas house if his name was legally changed in 1982?

My grandma passed away in 2005 and her house was left to my dad and his brother and sisters. My dad passed away in 2013 and the house was just recently sold. I have a brother whose name was legally changed when he was about 2 because he was adopted by someone else. Is he entitled to any of the... Read more »

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Mar 23, 2018

Assuming that your brother was adopted, and assuming further that neither the adoptive parents nor the biological parents left Wills, in Texas the general rule is that an adopted child inherits from his adoptive parents just like any of their other children would, but the adopted child also... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Mother passed and there are no properties or vehicles... no will Only a checking account that I share with her and I’m

Benificary as well as a life policy and I’m the benificary... do I need to probate?

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Jan 31, 2018

I don't see any reason you would need probate to deal with the assets mentioned.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Does the son that was not in Will have rights if property was left to other son. Mom died in ‘05 in TN. Dad died ‘15 TX.

They have a house in TX with both Mom and Dad on deed. Mom died in TN w/o Will and Dad died in TX with Will. Dad did not probate Mom’s estate. Dad left the house in TX to one son and not the other one. Does the other son have the right to the house? Is there a statue of limitations in this? The... Read more »

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Jan 23, 2018

There are several issues here that would require a consultation with an attorney. Is your father the father of all of your mother's children? Did she have any children prior to their marriage? Has your father's will been probated? Is there a legitimate dispute over the validity or authenticity... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Is adultery an issue with probate and estate distribution in Texas?
Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Dec 6, 2017

Did it result in the birth of a child who would inherit? Otherwise, no.

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1 Answer | Asked in Lemon Law and Landlord - Tenant for Texas on
Q: Can my landlord raise my rent because there was a Gas leak also stop any repairs.

This past Sept 2017 my gas was turned off and the meter taken off. The gas company told me a licensed plumber had to come check the pipes under the house/ground. I told my landlord he got mad that the gas company got involved. He said now he had to pay for a permit and hired a licensed plumber. The... Read more »

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Oct 29, 2017

My initial reaction is no, your landlord can't break the lease by raising your rent based on the types of repairs involved. Keep in mind that you need to have an attorney review your lease and any correspondence you have with your landlord before advising you one way or the other.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Thing is, it is a copy of his will and that includes the notary. Does that matter?
Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Oct 29, 2017

You may or may not need to probate the will, and depending on how long it has been since the person passed and the availability of necessary witnesses, you may not be able to get the will into probate. You should take the copy of the will and the death certificate to an attorney and let he or she... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: I have a copy of my husbands will, notarized. Can his children fight me over it?

Cannot find the original will. But I know he left everything to me. What rights do his children have?

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Oct 29, 2017

As Attorney Garrett correctly stated, a copy of a Will can be probated in Texas. There are potential proof considerations to account for, as well as notice to the heirs as if there were no will. Your step children are free to dispute your application to probate the copy of the will. It is... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: The property is in his name. My brother lives alone and he is the veteran with angiosarcoma cancer. He has no medical in

Insurance. Will the VA collect his property if he dies? Is there a way to prevent this from happening?

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Aug 8, 2017

It sounds like you are describing a MERP claim, which can result from Medicaid benefits received, not from VA benefits. In Texas the Department of Aging and Disability Services contracts with HMS who administers the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP). There are Hardship Waivers you can apply... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Can i obtain legal aid to help me in trying to get my deceased grandmothers property in order?

My grandmother passed away in 2009 we need to know who the property belongs to since her biological daughter is deceased, as well as her adopted son. She was already divorced when she passed so that leaves a husband out. The problem is she had 3 grandchildren from her daughter and 4 from her... Read more »

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Jul 21, 2017

If you're trying to keep the house, then you will need to find pro-bono help through the legal aid organizations in your area. If you are planning on selling the house there should be plenty of sales proceeds on hand to compensate your attorney for settling the estate. An Affidavit of Indigency... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Texas on
Q: We live in my husband's grandfather house for almost 10 years. His grandfather died and years ago left the house to his

son and daughter in gift deed. We are in process of getting the sons part of deed signed over to my husband who is his son. We have paid taxes and insurance on house for years. What is our chances of getting the house if she's fighting for money for her half?

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Jun 25, 2017

Can you afford to buy out her share of the house? Her remedy would likely be to force a partition sale, which takes much of the control away from you. I would get with a probate attorney in your area who can get the title issues resolved definitively and quickly. Then file suit against her... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Civil Litigation for Texas on
Q: will went to probate and ruled on by a judge, 10 years later his son is wanting to sue over mineral rights can he sue?

Step Dad changed will with a cross out and signature and left everything to Mom. Went to probate and Judge ruled that the will was valid and everything went to my Mom. Its been 10 years and his son called and said he was going to sue to get mineral rights because he is trying to set things up for... Read more »

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Jun 24, 2017

No. You have 30, 90, or 180 days (depending on details that aren't worth going into here) to appeal a judgment in Texas. If your brother hasn't done anything about it in 10 years, I don't see what argument he could make at this point.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My mother passed away and left a will I was named the executor to estate adopted sister will not sign heirship paperwork

Is there a way to go around her will was never probated because I didn't know I had to probate the will I have also payed the property off and payed before mother died what can I do I need to sell part of my property

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Jun 23, 2017

Talk to a probate attorney. He or she can advise you how to clear up title to the property. Once title is clear (either by probating the will as muniment of title or determining heirship) and your sister still refuses to agree to a sale of the property, you'll need an attorney to help you with a... Read more »

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