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Questions Answered by Terry Lynn Garrett
3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: If i am legally still married and he died. Then shouldn't his estate go to his spouse ?

His brother said he was left everything. Shouldn't i have more rights than him ?

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

If there was a Will, everything passes according to the Will.

If there was a no Will, everything passes to the spouse unless there were children from another relationship.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: need access to a format for motion to quash a subpoena in a probate case - help!
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 17, 2020

This is not a DIY project.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: How to transfer deed after muniment of title order?

We processed our mother's house through a muniment of title pro se and received order in Brazoria County, TX. The will stated that property goes to the living children. However, we would like to transfer ownership to one sibling.

I understand that there isn't an executor named... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 14, 2020

A quit claim deed does not transfer title. It merely records that one person quits a right, such as an easement over a driveway, to use another's land. A deed of gift can be either a General Warranty Deed or, if the previous deed was a Special Warranty Deed or a distribution from an estate,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My brother lived in texas and has passed away on August 24th. Who can file a small estate.

He did not have a will that I know of, but his heir( estranged son) has not done anything to take care of collectors or even inquire about them. The family has taken care of my brothers funeral, he didn't even ask about his dad. Want to know if I can file a small estate on behalf of our... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 11, 2020

An Affidavit of Small Estate must be signed by all the heirs and two witnesses who will not inherit. If your sibling will not sign (or if there is a Will), you may be stuck with an Application for Determination of Heirship and Issuance of Letters of Administration.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: What are my rights to deceased husband's property when adult children from previous marriage have moved in house

All assets were accumulated during our marriage. I left the home because there was marijuana being grown and sold from the house and deceased husband and I have 15 yr old daughter together

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 11, 2020

You, not the children, have a right to live in the house for life. They may argue that you have abandoned this right by leaving. Given the circumstances and depending on your evidence, the judge may not agree.

In any event, you keep your 50% community property interest in the house and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My father will not willingly share any of the money from grandmother foreclosed home.any options?

My uncle ended up racking up $27,000 worth of back taxes and so the bank foreclosed on the home and he was evicted my cousin whose father has passed away revieved a part of the money that was left after the taxes were paid and the rest was split between my father,uncle and cousin (whos father... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 5, 2020

Your father and uncle are heirs. You are not.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: I need help knowing what to do to transfer a car title in a different state after my mother passed.

My mother recently passed. She lived in Louisiana and I live in Texas. I am her only heir and she was not married. She did not have a will and everything was left to me. She has an old car that was last registered in Louisiana that I would like to transfer over to my name in Texas. Her registration... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 5, 2020

What you should do depends on how your mother left everything to you. If she named you on a deed which transferred her home on her death and named you as designated beneficiary on any life insurance policy or retirement account and as pay-on-death on any bank and transfer-on-death on any brokerage... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My mother is the executor of my dad's will and the sole beneficiary. She is also in prison for his death. what do do?

She's in prison for manslaughter and I have step siblings waiting to file wrongful death suit. How should probate be handled?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 4, 2020

Hire a probate lawyer who practices in the county in which your father died to guide you through this process. If the Will does not appoint a successor executor to your mother, the court may appoint one. It may also be that you and your siblings ask the court to set aside the Will and agree to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: If there was no hearing for a will how would I go about trying to void the change after the diagnosis?

My father has a personal Vendetta against me. He has not been looking out in my mother's best interest. Or else he wouldn't have deprived her of the knowledge of an opportunity to live. I was a blood match and he was supposed to be making decisions and helping her gather information in... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 2, 2020

A Will has no legal effect until it is admitted to probate.

Only your mother can change her Will. If you believe that she did not have legal capacity to do so when the change was made, you may be able to contest the Will when it is presented to the local probate court. As you seem to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: I have a trust setup for $ (undesclosed amount) a month. My father gave a bank the trustee control without bond.

As trustee the bank shall in it's sole and uncontrolled discretion irrespective of any source of income shall support, maintain, educate or benefit me. Recently

I received a letter stating that I have been requesting too much extra revenue for medical and maintenance needs. The trustee... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 1, 2020

Many beneficiaries mistakenly think that money held in trust is their money. It is not. It belongs to the trust and is to be distributed according to the terms of the trust agreement. If you think the distributions do not meet the terms of the trust, show your invoices and bills to the trustee.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Elder Law and Health Care Law for Texas on
Q: My dad is showing signs of dementia and my mom is in denial

Mom says that dad sundowns and is becoming aggressive by being verbally abusive towards her. My mom depends on a walker to get around, she insists she is fine and can take care of him. I feel they need a live in nurse or be put in a home. My mom won’t hear of it. Will I be held liable if... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 28, 2020

While you may not be financially liable, you may find it hard to live with the consequences. At some point your father may lack legal capacity to decide where he lives (among other things). If a physician completes a Physician's Certificate of Medical Examination showing that he lacks total... 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 »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 24, 2020

No. You have no authority until a probate court appoints you executor of his Will or administrator of his estate. If you want to keep the money safe and in a bank, put the check in a safety deposit box.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: How can I find out who holds the records for Yarborough Jameson and Gray , Galveston tx. Who shut down early 2000.

I am searching for wills done in mid to late 80s

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 23, 2020

There was a procedure for a probate lawyer to apply to take over files then. You might check the county probate court records if one of the partners died. Unfortunately, the requirement to inform the state bar in advance who will take over a lawyer's files did not exist.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My my husband's brother has his truck in about $100,000 in tools he recently passed what are my rights
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 18, 2020

It is not clear whether it is your husband who has died or his brother or whose the tools are.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: if the beneficiary of an estate is a minor can the administrator be paid & when? estate to remain open wrongful death

I am the administrator in an estate with a minor heir. The estate had been handled except for a pending wrongful death suit. When can I be paid as the administrator of the estate? And does the payment have to be approved through the court?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 16, 2020

In most counties this will be a dependent administration. You must apply to the court for your fees.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Can we ourselves write up a document saying we "do not contest" our brother getting our parents home?

Dad recently died, No will, brother helped dad fix up house and put a lot of money into house so we want him to get the house for himself. We don't want any ownership or funds from the house.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 16, 2020

The estate must be admitted to probate (proving) by a court. Then you can record a deed gifting your interest to your brother. If you file a disclaimer, your interest will go to your children. "Do not contest" applies to a Will and is a provision in the Will prohibiting contest.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: My father passed almost 8 months ago. He had 2 vehicles that were not left to anyone in the will but he gave one to me

And the other to my brother. My brother is the executor and has since decided to get mad at me and take the truck back. He has also told me not to go to my Dads house. As executor, does he have that right?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 12, 2020

If your father did not put the title in your name, the vehicle belongs to his estate. Your brother, as executor, has not only the right but the duty to assemble all of your father's property, pay the debts (perhaps selling the property to do so) and only then distribute the remaining property... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Can a Quitclaim deed be used to take my husband's name off of our second home?

Eight years ago, my husband (now 80 years old) and I (71 years old) bought a second house for our adult daughter to live in. Her disabilities are getting worse and I now live with her to help. My husband lives in our original home a mile away. The increases in property taxes here in Tarrant... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 12, 2020

A quit claim deed does not transfer title.

But a spouse can gift another spouse using either a General Warranty Deed or a Special Warranty Deed, depending on whether the underlying deed is a General Warranty Deed or a Special Warranty Deed.

You do need a lawyer to draft the deed...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Am I, as a surviving spouse, entitled to any part of my husbands estate, even though we were separated?

When my husband died, we’d been separated for several years. His family informed me of his death and said his will stated that everything went to his brother. Can I be totally disinherited or do I have any legal claim to part of his estate?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 12, 2020

In Texas separation has no legal effect, only divorce does.

However, unlike in the states which were party of the English colonies or in Europe, you are not automatically entitled to part of your husband's estate. You keep your 50% community property interest -- and all property...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Can I represent myself without a probate attorney for my brother's estate in Nueces county TX?

My brother recently passed away. In his will, he left his estate to me and wished that I use the money to help take care of our elderly mom. The value of the estate is around $150k.

I believe there is approx. $8k in medical bills which need to be paid from the estate. No other bills... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 11, 2020

You cannot represent yourself. The cost depends on whether the Will is properly drafted and has a self-proving affidavit.

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