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Questions Answered by Terry Lynn Garrett

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on

Q: What are Beneficiary's rights for non-disclosure of assets and also sale of primary house?

My Dad's Will was probated and non of the beneficiaries received any information including assets An Affidavit in Lieu of Inventory was filed.

Mom (Executor) just sold the primary residence. Are we entitled to any of the proceeds?

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jul 19, 2019

It depends on what the Will says. Once a Will has been submitted for probate, it becomes a public document. Check with the county probate court.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on

Q: Where can I find samples of petition clerk sends citation to beneficiaries

Regarding probate

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jul 18, 2019

Your question is a little unclear but I will try to answer it.

The clerk does not send notice to the beneficiaries. The lawyer representing the executor does. The notice should include a copy of the Will. No petition is involved.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on

Q: My stepmom sold my dadproperty with out me knowing she only listed her kids and not me on court documents what can I do

My dad was married but separated when he had me. Now she will not list me as a child of his only her children she had with my dad and she knows I exist. She had even had court papers notarized with me not being as a child of his. She did a heirship affidavit and my name is not as a descendent.

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jul 17, 2019

Take the papers and proof that he is your father (such as your birth certificate) to a local probate lawyer ASAP.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on

Q: How do I go about filing on the stepmother for changing my dads will?

My dad passed away in Aug of 11 it took the stepmother til Oct to probate it now I know why she redid his will to fit her agenda. She forgot I read his original will and that is not it, she has been acting funny since I asked her for a copy. Then she sent me a message telling me she was going to... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jul 10, 2019

Take your documents to a local lawyer who handles fiduciary litigation.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on

Q: Is there any recourse for falsifying probate records claiming a person died in a different state?

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jul 8, 2019

Falsifying government records is a crime. Take your evidence to the DA. If you were harmed by the falsified record, you may have a civil suit as well. (For example, the falsified record may have led to the estate being probated in the wrong state, especially if you received less inheritance or... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Medical Malpractice for Texas on

Q: My 91yr old mother in law who is wheelchair bound and in the last stages of Alzheimers disease.

She was discharged to my husband, 61 and had a heart attack and is unemployed and me 63 on medical disability. Needs total assistance with all ADL's. No discharge summary no Plan of care. We were financial unable to cover the cost of the nursing home. She has outlived her money to pay. Between her... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jul 3, 2019

It appears that the nursing home would have done better to advise you to apply for Medicaid. Although Texas is one of 13 states with an income cap ($2,313 in 2019), under federal law an applicant can still qualify by establishing a Qualified Income Trust a/k/a a Miller Trust. This is basically a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: do I need a lawyer for POA or Guardianship in Texas?

My mother need it for my father who is incapacitated. They do not have joint bank accounts, own a home together. Different incomes are affected. My father is in critical condition.

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 30, 2019

It is not clear whether you are interested in a Medical or a Durable [Financial] Medical Power of Attorney or whether the person involved has legal capacity to sign either. If he does, Texas has one form of Medical Power of Attorney, which any elder or estate planning lawyer should be able to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on

Q: My husband passed away without a written will; however he verbally expressed his wishes. Is that sufficient?

My step kids and I were witness to his last wishes that I inherit everything, including our jointly owned property. He also expressed this to my daughter, his stepdaughter, during phone conversations. His Illness struck so fast that we didn’t have opportunity to have a written will drawn up and... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 30, 2019

A Will must be written, signed, witnessed and notarized. If there is no Will, you must hire a lawyer to submit an Application to Determine Heirship and Issue Letters of Administration. Under Texas law, you are not the sole heir if there are children from another relationship. But you and the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on

Q: What does waiver of notice of probate of will mean

I can’t afford an attorney and I’m filling out a probate form to enter in a Will in probate court. I’m not understanding the section where it says “waiver of notice of probate of Will”

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 24, 2019

It means that the Court does not have to notify you of the actual date and time when it will consider admitting the Will to probate and appointing someone (the executor) to carry out its terms.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on

Q: What happens if you do not file a will in Texas probate.

Under what circumstances make it possible to not have to file a will with the court?

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 24, 2019

It is a crime to withhold a Will.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on

Q: Texas intestate

My step uncle passed away recently without a will. My step dad is the only living family left. The only thing my uncle had to his name is a car worth about $1500 and there is a utility deposit check coming for $118. How do we go about transferring the car title and be able to cash the check without... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 12, 2019

Use a DMV Affidavit of Heirship for the car.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on

Q: Can an executrix delay assigning a deed in order to maintain control of the property?

My mother died one year ago and named my oldest sister as executrix. There are no debts and three properties. One has been sold, one is on the market, and the third my two sisters and I intend to keep. My youngest sister and I do not agree with the executrix on the management of the property. The... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 11, 2019

Take the letter to a local probate attorney and ask him to move for the court to intervene.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on

Q: Can attorney's work in different counties in Arizona or do you need an attorney for each county?

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 5, 2019

While attorneys are licensed to practice the law of a specific state, those who go to court might appear (depending on the type of case) only in a certain county or a certain group of counties.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on

Q: Texas Small Estate affidavit process, fees and durations

My Father and mother both died without a will. My dad has a Employee Stock purchase plan valued at around $18,000 and has a life insurance policy valued at 40,000. Do that qualify for the Small Estate affidavit probate process? I have got a link to Fort Bend county courts for the required forms,... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 4, 2019

While the filing fee may be around $350, you would do well to hire a lawyer to help you complete this tricky form. Before that, you would do well to make sure that the entities holding the money will accept an Affidavit of Small Estate and not require Letters of Administration.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: How can I get a letter of inheritance to close a bank account. I'm the only heir.

My Dad passed away earlier this month. I need to close his bank account. They are asking for a letter of inheritance I believe. I’m not sure if he had a will. The bank balance is just over 2,500.00.

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 4, 2019

While in theory an Affidavit of Small Estate might suffice, financial institutions generally require court-issued Letters of Administration when there is no Will. Filing an Application to Determine Heirship and Issue Letters of Administration might cost you as much or more than is in the account:... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on

Q: My sister is only interested in my dad’s lawsuit, wont visit him or give him status

I have spent more than 50% of the last year helping my parents I live in CA they live in Tx. Its been exhausting. My younger sis lives 3 hrs away has visited couple hrs last year. Dad has lasbestos lawsuit going. She had originally called the attorney. My dad and I called to get updatessince... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 31, 2019

If your father is the client, his lawyer should not be speaking with anyone but him about it without his prior written permission. Your father should shut the spigot.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: If an estates assets are much less than it’s liabilities, how does the personal representative handle the creditors?

The estate has $12k. The debt is $40k

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 31, 2019

The Texas Estates Code requires that debts be paid in a certain order. There are eight classes. When the personal representative does not have enough in the estate to pay a class, the remaining funds are paid to the creditors in that class pro rata. It might be a good idea to consult a local... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on

Q: Is it legal for someone other than the Executor to sign, Application to Admit Will, Oath, and other docs for Probate

The husband is a bully fraud specialist attorney, he has claimed an Estate of 800,000.00 when there are no assets to probate. The estate in reality is about 5,000.00, not even imaginable , to be 800,000.00. Everything that was left, was setup with beneficiaries and/or TOD. Her assets consist of... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 24, 2019

The applicant for probate usually is but need not be the executor. Applying does not make one the executor.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: Does a no contest clause in a will cover the executor of the will ?

My step brother is named executor and he had misappropriated some of the assets of before death ( with a POA) I was going to go to court file to have him removed from executor but am concerned about the no contest clause

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 22, 2019

It is hard to tell what the "no contest" clause covers without reading the Will. Texas law exempts contests brought in good faith and for just cause. From your description it sounds as though rather than contesting the distributions under the Will, you may be contesting the appointment of the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on

Q: A fraud specialist attorney's wife was named as executor,HE has signed all documents purporting to be her signature

Is it legal for someone else to sign official probate documents? The husband signed the Application to Admit Will, the Oath, Death and other facts submitted as her signature. Is it legal for him to sign her name? Named executor is NOT actively trying to probate the husband is. He is signing her name

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 22, 2019

It is not clear what you mean by "probate documents." If you mean a Will or a Codicil to a Will, please note that if a person is physically unable to sign before a notary and two witnesses, they may make an "X" or direct someone to sign on their behalf before a notary and two witnesses, with the... Read more »

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