Kingwood, TX asked in Probate for Texas

Q: My mom passed away and she left me a large some of money, but my step dad says I have to wait until he dies? Why ?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Maybe he does not understand how the Texas rules of descent and distribution work. Contact a local probate attorney about probating the Will or filing an Application to Determine Heirship.

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Richardson, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Your step dad may be right, but probably not. We would really need to see your mother's will or trust to see if there's any legal reason at all that you wouldn't get your inheritance right away.

If your mother had no will, then you should get your inheritance right away. The only exception to this is typically with the house. Under Texas law, the surviving spouse can continue to live in the house until he dies.

Definitely talk with a probate lawyer to protect your inheritance. Most attorneys offer inexpensive (or even free) meetings. At that meeting, the probate lawyer will look at your mother's documents (if she had any) and make a recommendation to protect your inheritance rights. From my experience as a probate lawyer, I'm always worried about the surviving spouse when the deceased spouse had children from a prior relationship. I'm worried because that surviving spouse will often do whatever he can to get everything transferred to his name, even if that's not legal.

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