Flower Mound, TX asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Texas

Q: 140 years ago my great grandfather was given a watch for saving several men in a mining accident. The watch was to pass

to the oldest son. It went to my Grandfather who passed it to my dad(the oldest son) who passed it to my brother(the only son). Since my Dad is deceased. His younger brother, my uncle believes that he is entitled to it since he now has a son. I am of the understanding that it should remain with my brother and then it would pass back to my uncles side of the family when my brother passes should he pass with out a son. I hope this makes sense. I am trying to avoid a family feud.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jason Oxner
Jason Oxner
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Jersey Village, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Hello, sorry for your loss. Your questions is difficult to answer based on the facts alone. Do you know if your great grandfather left a will with instructions relating to the watch? If so, that would be the first place I would check. I would also check to see if your great grandfather's estate was probated. Essentially, we are going to need to track the watch through wills or to see if it has been accounted for in any probate filing. We would also need to check to see if your grandfather's estate was probated and also your father's. There is a small possibility that the watch may have been placed in a trust.

If there was not a will or trust, it is going to be a little difficult as we would need to follow Texas intestacy laws, which describe how property is distributed when someone dies without a will. I would suggest taking the time to meet with an experienced Probate Attorney who may be able to check to see if there have been any probate filings or wills filed with the courts. The Probate Attorney can also answer more directly your question as to who may be entitled to the watch. I wish you the best of luck!

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