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Questions Answered by Terry Lynn Garrett
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Civil Rights and Probate for Texas on
Q: I have been paying a mortgage that's in my mother-in-law s name for 22 years, my common law husband of 27 yrs died.

The family wants me out. What can I do

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Feb 23, 2021

You could take either or both of these steps. (1) Hire a probate lawyer to help you prove that you are a spouse. (2) Gather all the payment evidence and file a claim against the estate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: 82 years old father and whole complex all must move to a shelter for months, is this legal for disabled elders?

they want to do repairs and replace pipes and they have to pack up and move they dont know where just some shelter and a lot have providers that assist them all in panic mode I live in Ohio my father lives in South Texas

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Feb 22, 2021

From your description it appears that your father lives in a commercial apartment complex, not in a nursing home or a hospital and is perhaps being constructively evicted due to the need to make massive repairs. If he has funds, a shelter is not his only option.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: What to do with a bank account that has no beneficiaries and was forgotten in the will

My late husband wrote his last will but forgot to include one of his bank accounts. There is no other name besides his on it. How can I transfer the account to my name when a will was written but failed to include the bank account? How exactly does that probate process work?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Feb 19, 2021

The bank account need not be mentioned in the Will to pass under it. Please ask a local probate lawyer to guide you through the process of probating the Will (proving that it is the Will of the person who died) and settling the estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: What to do with a bank account that has no beneficiaries

My late husband wrote his last will but forgot to include one of his bank accounts. There is no other name besides his associated with it, and I don't believe the laws of intestacy nor an out-of-court affidavit apply in cases like these where a will has been written. How can I transfer the... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Feb 14, 2021

Hire a local probate lawyer to help you apply to the court for probate (proving that the Will is that of the person who died.). Since the bank account did not direct payment to a beneficiary, it will pass under the Will.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Banking and Probate for Texas on
Q: Who is responsible for Bill's such as electrity and water and car payments and insurance payments when someone dies

Father died back in 2019 in july verbally naming brother as PR of estate. Wondering if him charging the estate 35 dollars an hour and saying that he has 958 hours of work on the estate is unreasonable or if the judge will see that as unreasonable. He says hes done extraordinary measures the whole... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Feb 11, 2021

The estate is responsible for the bills. It matters not what your father said. If he did not leave a Will which has been submitted to probate (proving that it is his Will), anyone can apply to the court to settle the estate. After the court has appointed that person administrator, he may charge... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: I need to transfer my aunt from facility in Texas to 1 in Arkansas she has Alzheimer's her husband cannot care for her

Her husband has a broken his hip and it's going to be in a long-term facility himself they only married in 2016.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Feb 10, 2021

What is your question? If your aunt has legal capacity and the MD says she can be moved, she can be moved. If your aunt lacks legal capacity, someone needs to become her guardian in order to be able to decide where she lives. If the person becomes her guardian in Texas, after moving her to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Aunt died in 86; left a will but never probated. She left everything to son and residuary to the niece. Cant find son.

What happens to the inheritance of the son if he cannot be found?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Feb 5, 2021

The Will can still be submitted to court for probate (proving that it is the Will of the person who died) by someone who did not know of it earlier. The court will require you to hire a PI to find the beneficiary. If the PI cannot find him, the court will require you to publish in the newspaper.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: If I am on a deed and have 50% interest in property and the other person passes, what happens?

My grandmother who recently passed had added me to her land deed a few years back so I have 50% interest in property.

She had a mortgage and lein on the property before she added me to the deed. The person in charge of her will will not give info, but my dad was supposed to be named to... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 31, 2021

Check with the Bexar County probate court clerk to see the Will. If it went to your father, it will pass under his Will or, if he has none, according to the Texas laws of inheritance.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Texas on
Q: Do I need lawyer before or after we buy a home in a few months or move to another state for a postnuptial?

We plan on moving to Texas after we purchase a house within a next few months.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 30, 2021

A Texas postnuptial is probably best drafted when you reside in Texas. Because a postnuptial can recharacterize separate and community property, that you have purchased a Texas home while California residents is likely irrelevant.

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Can the lender take ownership of the home if no one officially takes over the loan officially?

My grandmother had refinanced her home prior to her death. She left 6 children behind and my aunt has been making the payments for a month that she's been deceased. She wants to continue to make the payments to the lender but want to know if later this will be of no use if an heir doesn't... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 24, 2021

Federal law prohibits a lender from foreclosing for six months after the court appoints an executor or administrator. After that, the lender can foreclose. Whether the lender will allow someone to "take over" the loan is really a question of whether that person qualifies for a new loan... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Is there a way to be added to a home loan if the descendant left no will? Is there a way to achieve the below?

My grandmother passed away without a will and left behind a refinance on a mortgage. My uncles and aunts would like to be added to the loan to avoid anyone being able to sale the home w/o the other's consent.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 24, 2021

The lender must decide whether to, in essence, extend a loan to your uncle and aunt based on their credit, not your grandmother's. Please keep in mind that a lender is barred from foreclosing for six months after a court appoints an executor (if there is a Will) or administrator (if there is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My Father died in Feb, 2016. He had a will. My mom is the beneficiary. She wants to sell the home. Both are on the deed.

Does my Dad's Will need to be probated? She wants to close the sale of the home in Feb 2021.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 22, 2021

A Will has no legal effect until a court admits it to probate (proving that the Will is the Will of the person who died.) Probate is necessary to transfer your father's 50% community property interest in the home to your mother. Then she will have a 100% ownership interest and can sell the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: If the deceased person leaves one child a house, does the house need to go to probate?

There are three children. Two of the children are surviving. The house/property was left to one child, there is no dispute. Does the house/property need to go to probate before it is sold? The deceased child leaves behind two children, are they entitled to anything?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 20, 2021

From the description, it is not clear whether there was a Will. If there was a Will, it should be submitted to probate (proving). If not, an Application for Determination of Heirship, etc. or a Small Estate Affidavit should be filed with the court. Then a Distribution Deed can transfer the... Read more »

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?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 20, 2021

You have no authority until a court appoints you as executor.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My father passed away last year and my stepmother just passed away. If she changed her will can I contest it?

I have her previous will that left all her estate to me. Additionally she was suffering from mild dementia and was on a lot of medications from a stroke 10 years previous. One of her caregivers had power of attorney. The estate was very large and all my families furniture, pictures, and... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 16, 2021

You can contest it but you may find it very, very difficult to prove either undue influence or lack of legal capacity and very, very expensive to try to do so. You may also find that the Will has a "no contest" clause which leaves you with nothing if you contest.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: TRS does not want to issue retirement funds due to my deceased son who passed away on 9/8/2019.

We already submitted Proof of Heirship but because of the amount TRS says they need a Judgment Declaring Heirship. Texas Government Code which TRS refers to in their letter does not indicate anything regarding a “Judgment”. What can I do?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 14, 2021

Hire a local probate lawyer to help you file an Application for Determination of Heirship and Issuance of Letters of Administration. After the hearing, the judge will sign a Judgment Declaring Heirship.

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.
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 14, 2021

When a Will ir submitted to the court for probate (proving), it becomes a public document. If you would like to see it, ask the clerk of the local probate court.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: In Texas can I get my deceased dads stuff away from my incarcerated brothers girlfriend. No will.
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 11, 2021

If he left no more than a home, up to $60,000 in personal effects (such as furniture) and up to $75,000 in other personal property (such as a bank account), and all the heirs and two witnesses will sign, you may be able to file a Small Estate Affidavit.

The real problem for many families...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Grandma estate went to probate her grandsons received it all as the will. Now her grandso got a renewal bill for life

For life insurance. The benefices her son that has been in prison and will never get out who gets it?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 7, 2021

Being in prison does not negate his being beneficiary of the life insurance -- though it may mean that the state will eventually receive the funds to pay for his room and board.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: My dad just passed away a few days ago and his power of attorney will not allow me to have any sentimental items.

the power of attorney isn't related to my dad. Me and my sisters just want maybe one of his t-shirts or something.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jan 4, 2021

The power of the attorney expired with your father. The agent under the Durable Power of Attorney no longer has a whisker of authority.

That said, until a court appoints an executor or, if there was no Will, an administrator to settle your father's estate, neither does anyone else.

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