Orlando, FL asked in Probate for Texas

Q: My ex husband in Texas pass away. He has 3 adult children and they cannot find a will. His dad hold the mortgage on the

house. Dad purchased house for son & daughters, son was supposed to pay on it for 10 years then get a note to pay it off in his own name. He got sick about the time the note was due. So we know the house should default back to his dad. Question, can his dad take actions to put locks on the house to lock them out without any notification? They still have possessions in the home. We cannot afford a probate attorney, What happens? This is not a big estate. He didn't have much. Please help. The dad is wants the money from selling the house. How long do the girls have? Thank you.

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Wesley Urquhart
John Wesley Urquhart
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Conroe, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You need to see if there was a written contract. There are many other questions that need to be answered. Check with the county clerk to see if they have a copy of the will. Sometimes a copy of the will can be found in a safe deposit box at the bank. If you know of the attorney who prepared the will then that attorney may have a copy. If you know of an attorney he used before then that attorney may know of the attorney who prepared the will. If you don't find a will then the heirs will need an attorney to file an application to determine heirship. However that takes longer and is more expensive than probating an estate with a will. If the estate is worth less than $75,000 then a small estate affidavit may be a possibility. That is much cheaper and does not take as long as the other two options, assuming the pandemic does not delay the process too much. Ultimately you should speak to an attorney with experience in contract law, real estate law, probate/estate administration, and litigation. Unfortunately that will cost some money. However some attorneys offer payment plans. You should speak to more than one attorney and weigh your options as not all are created equal.

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