Grand Prairie, TX asked in Contracts, Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas

Q: I don't know what to do! No attorney and being sued. What do I do when I haven't even got into my late dad's bank????

Legal aide rejected me due to not enough resources so I don't know where to turn. I have 3 kids, one disabled and living off her SSI check and food stamps. No probate court since my dad had no assets. Bank wouldn't even tell me if it would be worth it, if there's any money in there at all even with death certificate and my id's. I or he has received 3-4 refunded checks, one in which is over $2000 but I can't cash them. I need a car so bad especially with 2 kids going to school this year and my car can't even get inspected, how could I pay a lawsuit or have a foreclosure on my record?

1 Lawyer Answer
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: If your father left no more than a home, $60,000 in personal goods and household effects and $75,000 in other assets (such as a car or bank accounts) you can file an Affidavit of Small Estate. The court filing fee ranges from about $300-350, varying with the county. If you file an Affidavit of Inability to Pay Court Costs and that is accepted, the filing fee will be waived. An Affidavit of Small Estate must be signed before a notary by all the heirs at law and by two people who will not inherit and can testify that these are the heirs and the only heirs. The assets must be specifically described. The heirs must promise to pay all the debts and to divide the remainder among them according to the Texas laws of descent and distribution.

If the Affidavit of Small Estate is rejected, you do not get your filing fee back. Since so many are rejected because they are filled out or signed incorrectly or incompletely, it is probably worth your while to pay a lawyer to review and efile the Affidavit of Small Estate and death certificate for you. If you do not qualify for Volunteer Legal Services, you might see whether Lawyer Referral Services in your area offers discounted fees for people of modest means.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.