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Questions Answered by Terry Lynn Garrett
1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: I am POA for senior parents. What is the liability for them & me if they get in an auto accident?

Both of my parents (aged 85 and 87) currently have active Texas licenses and auto insurance. Their physician tested and diagnosed them both with mild dementia Nov 5, 2019. They are both still able to dress, bathe, shop, etc. for themselves, just getting a little confused, weaker, repeating... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 27, 2020

You are liable for negligence. Whether a jury will rule that you were negligent in continuing payments for car insurance and gas and not taking away the keys or disabling the car cannot be accurately predicted.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: If child 18 yrs died 4 1/2 months AFTER her father in TX, is she an heir equal to her 4 siblings and 2 step siblings?

I asked Atty probating husband's estate several times in writing about deceased daughter. Atty said deceased child wasn't an heir; did not inherit share equal to siblings. Despite my concerns Atty filed estate documents w/out incl. deceased child as an heir. Now Atty sent me deed from estate to... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 22, 2020

Hire a local probate attorney and do this ASAP.

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: I am 80 years old, what are the pros and cons of selling my home, putting the cash in the bank, and renting a home?
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 21, 2020

Given your age, this largely turns on (1) whether you are one of the over 70% of Texans who must apply for Medicaid to pay for long term care and (2) whether you are willing to enter a Medicaid nursing home in order to preserve the home for your spouse, child or whomever else you want to leave it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and International Law for Texas on
Q: What practice area would apply to an international high dollar love scam regarding an USA elder man and foreign lady
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 21, 2020

This is elder exploitation, handled by some elder lawyers and investigated by the FBI.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Does paying back taxes on a commercial property whose owner deceased with no will; property in probate, give ownership?

Deceased 3 years ago and heirs have no interest in the property, likely due to all the back taxes.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 21, 2020

No. After the heirs probate the estate and receive their distributions, they may sell the property. Or a creditor may probate the estate, file a claim, be reimbursed and, after all bills of the deceased and the estate are paid, distribute what remains to the heirs. Contact a local probate... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Can I find any information on whether my father left a will in Texas?

My father lived and died in Waco Texas. He died on September 9, 2019.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 20, 2020

While some people deposit their will with the local probate court, most do not. Most people die without a will. If you have thoroughly searched your father's home an if he did not have a safety deposit box in which he might have put it, chances are good that he had no will.

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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 and... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 19, 2020

You can hire an Approved Guardianship Attorney and apply to become his guardian yourself. Usually no guardian is needed if there is a valid Medical Power of Attorney and a valid Durable Power of Attorney. But from your description, someone may need to take away the keys, regularly check on your... Read more »

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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

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 15, 2020

If the Will was admitted to probate as a Muniment of Title, the Order admitting it should be filed in the deed records. If not, a Distribution Deed from the estate to the beneficiary should be recorded. Without one or the other of these, your mother has no legal authority to sell the property to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My grandmother's will is signed in 1972. I wasent born until 1982 my uncle did not notify the court that I'm an heir.

My uncle was the executor of grandma's estate.My father passed in1992 and ive been looking for his side of family to inherit my half of my father's estate.

I found his side and made contact on Facebook middle last montb mycousin told me her father took everything when grandma died and sold... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 15, 2020

Hire a local probate lawyer to argue that you were a "pretermitted heir" and would fall within "children" or "descendants" under the Will. Also note that people with a lot of assets also often have a lot of debt. There may not be as much there as you would like.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Need an elder law specialist in the Austin TX area that can answer: *How can a spouse assume control of all finances?

Situation: Both spouses are disabled, husband is a vet with dementia, wife is able bodied but has health issues as well.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 15, 2020

The wife can apply to become Community Administrator. Note that this gives her control of all the community property but not of her husband's separate property, if any. If he has not named her his agent under a Durable Power of Attorney, she will need to become his guardian to control any... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: widow 12 years still paying property tax, still in probate for lack of will. who does property belong?

NA

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 15, 2020

Please check your facts. A Texas court would have dismissed the Application for Determination of Heirship for lack of prosecution after two years. Paying taxes does not transfer title.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: What type of lawyer do I need if the executor of my mother's estate is not cooperating with me and we are being sued?

Mother was in a nursing home on Medicaid and was supposed to have her estate released to D.A.D.S upon her death. It has been 3 1/2 years and they never took properties to my knowledge. My sister is the executor and does not want to let me know what is going on. We are now being sued by the... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 13, 2020

15 months after an executor is appointed any beneficiary can request an accounting. It is due within 60 days. 24 months after an executor is appointed a beneficiary who has not received a distribution can petition the court to remove the executor (assuming there is something to distribute).... 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?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 9, 2020

A beneficiary can request an accounting 15 months after the executor is appointed. The executor has 60 days to respond. If no distributions are made 24 months after the executor is appointed, a beneficiary can petition the court to remove the executor.

Please note that the executor must...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: With a Texas POA could I be added to my dad's reverse mortgage?
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 6, 2020

RMs are limited to people 62 or older. If you qualify, contact the lender.

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My grandmother passed without a will, but left my mother as the guarantor on her checking. Will it still go to probate?
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 4, 2020

Being a guarantor does not give your mother access to the funds. If the account were "pay on death" or "joint with right of survivorship," the funds would be hers on presentation of the death certificate. If the account were "joint," half would be hers and half would belong to your grandmother's... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: What does the Texas Statutes Estates Code stipulate for a person dying intestate with only two half sisters still alive?

There are no living parents, children, spouse, nor maternal or paternal grandparents. The two half sisters have been involved in the decedent's life with great relationships most of his life.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 3, 2020

Half sisters inherit, regardless of their social relationship with the decedent.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Nursing Home Abuse for Texas on
Q: alzheimers patient released (kicked out) to a group home. 30day eviction on Nov4 moved him on Nov7 without medication,

Jody also has Paranoid Schizophrenia and is becoming increasingly Psychosis. The group home he was placed in apologized to me for accepting Jody and admitted they were ill equipped to help him! I spoke with adult protective services and the hospital corporate complaint number and the person kept... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Dec 24, 2019

You may have been misinformed. A patient may be discharged as soon as practicable if he is a danger to himself or others. However, from your description it would appear that a discharge to a nursing home would have been more appropriate...if Jody were eligible for and receiving Medicaid. People... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My father died 28 years ago and my grandmother died 7 years ago I was never notified how do I get my part of inheritance

Family is playing stupid with me told me on phone that they dident know I existed. My grandmother and dad both had property and alot of money

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Dec 13, 2019

You do not write that you have any evidence that either of them left anything to you in a Will. Please check the records of the county probate court to see whether they had Wills naming you. If they did not leave Wills, you are not an heir to your grandmother's estate directly. You may be an... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: where can i find the form for a muniment of title? Want to do this on my own.
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Dec 13, 2019

I wish you could but you can't. You must be represented by an attorney. The attorney will file an Application to Probate a Will as a Muniment of Title together with the Will and the death certificate. You will testify in court. The judge will issue an Order. The attorney will record the Will... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My father just passed away in June and I need help getting his affairs in order and taken care of and I have no idea

Disabled veteran, no will, 1 sibling I can't find

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Dec 12, 2019

Hire a local probate lawyer to file (depending on the situation) an Affidavit for Determination of Heirship and Issuance of Letters of Administration or a Small Estate Affidavit and, possibly, DMV and deed Affidavits of Heirship. Find your sibling. You may need to hire a PI to do so but cannot... Read more »

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