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Texas Elder Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: If I have medical and durable POA for my grandma with dementia, can I decide for her where she lives?

I got POA 4 years ago. She was diagnosed with dementia 3 years ago. Her husband has passed away. Her doctors (primary, cardiologist, and neurologist) say she cannot live alone, but she wants to stay at home. I cannot live with her (I am married with 3 kids of my own). Besides the dementia, she has... Read more »

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Apr 26, 2021

You can certainly provide her with a place to live, but you can't force her to live there. A power of attorney authorizes you to act for her, but doesn't give you the right to control her - for that you would need a guardianship. Her condition may or may not support having a guardian appointed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: How do i get a civil suit fees waived in harris county for elderly who has been financially exploited

She was scammed into a transmission rebuild after the company already had her car and apart got the back took to another shop who said the transmission has not been rebuilt they replaced a censor and new fluid and charged her 3000.$ and the transmission is acting the way it to start with she was... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Apr 18, 2021

File an Affidavit of Inability to Pay Costs.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Can someone hide a will to gain all that was supposed to get gain what was left to somebody in the will at death

Father in law acted like a will didn't exist so my husband wouldn't get what was left to him

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

In Texas failing a produce a Will is a crime. It you have evidence tending to prove it exists, or existed, such as signing witnesses who can testify as to what it said, please contact a local probate attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: My grandpa has COVID & oxygen, he’s living w/ my parents. been to hospital twice. Can they get trouble if he dies @ home

There’s no power of attorney, my parents have bought a funeral for him. He spend a week in the hospital got released and then two days a second time, got released again. Three nurses have come to the house, and they say he has to go through sickness, after the hospital. What will my parents have... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Feb 28, 2021

Assuming that the hospital receives Medicare or Medicaid payments, it can only discharge someone in a safe discharge. While it is now less common, many people do die at home. If your grandfather is on hospice, the hospice nurse can sign the death certificate. If not, it must be signed by an M.D.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Health Care Law, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: What kind of attorney is best to get my elderly mom proper representation to sue hospitals for the death of father?

My mom has documented and proven facts of wrong doings to support claims that caused my fathers untimely death

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Feb 23, 2021

A Texas attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for two weeks. I'm very sorry for the loss of your father. You could reach out to med mal-wrongful death attorneys. A law firm that handles one of those categories would likely handle the other in most cases. Since your mom is... Read more »

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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 Elder Law, Family Law, Adoption and Animal / Dog Law for Texas on
Q: I’m 18 I got a puppy online and been taking care of it at my grama place I’m going my to my parents but I think there

Planing on giving it away what are my rights?

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Feb 11, 2021

Sorry, no matter how old you are, your parents get to make the rules about what they will allow in their house. If they don't want the puppy, I suggest you arrange another place to stay. No, they shouldn't give away your property, but if you're living at their house, you're... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Health Care Law and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: If father's POA isn't responding to healthcare providers how can I get it revoked?

My father, who has previously been diagnosed with dementia/alzheimers, is recovering from covid and is having complications. He seems to be having stroke or heart attack symptoms after testing negative and the nursing home he is in isn't fully equipped to handle his recovery in my opinion. The... Read more »

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Jan 12, 2021

The only way you can obtain power of attorney to act for your father is if he is capable of giving it, and does so. A guardianship requires court action, after proof that your father is unable to make his own decisions. (BTW, "Power of Attorney" refers to the document, not the person,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: please see prior question that was not answered. if someone has no one to designate, can a lawyer be that person. thanks
Beth Ann Serafini-Smith
Beth Ann Serafini-Smith answered on Dec 29, 2020

I am not sure what you are asking, but, if you are asking if an attorney can be designated as an executor under a Will, the answer is yes, but you would want to ask that attorney first if he/she would agree to serve as the executor. Furthermore, you would always want to have an alternate executor... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Rights and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: i am very worried as over 50, disabled, and no family. can a lawyer hold my living will? have a house, etc, but no exec.

no executor,,and heirs unclear. can a lawyer be executor? also have funeral plot, everything prepaid....but greenwood mt olivet is now saying that a nonmedical person would need to contact them when i die to initiate burial...or they said my body will be dumped into some bin for many weeks. this is... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Dec 20, 2020

You can complete an Appointment for Disposition of Remains saying who you want to handle your remains. You must sign it before a notary. The person you appoint must sign accepting the appointment. That person need not be a family member.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Must 2 doctors do mental evaluations in order to be qualified to sign "incompetency" forms ?

Dad's trust has an "incompetency" clause

Kathy Elizabeth Roux
Kathy Elizabeth Roux answered on Dec 19, 2020

The answer to your question depends on what the trust's incompetency clause states. Most trust agreements will either define incompetence or will allow the trustee to rely upon the opinion of physicians. If the trust document has an incompetency clause, it may address the issue of how to... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Is there any reason to hesitate in pursuing an incompetency designation?

Our father has been diagnosed with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. His trust document has an "incompetency clause".

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Dec 12, 2020

The answer is highly dependent on facts and circumstances so cannot be answered without specific information and discussion.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: How does an incompetency declaration affect the patient-phycian relationship?

We already set up medical appointments and accompany our dad to his appointments.

He's signed documents allowing us to have access to his medical records.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Dec 8, 2020

How would you feel if someone you trusted with the most intimate details of your life declared you mentally incompetent, no longer an adult who should be allowed to make your own decisions? Would you continue to share everything with that person? If that person was your physician, would you... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: . Must 2 doctors do mental tests in order to be qualified to sign "incompetency clause"?

Dad's trust has incompetency clause.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Dec 8, 2020

If that is what the trust says, that is what is required. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find physicians who will do this short of a lengthy dementia workup or a Physician's Certificate of Medical Examination prepared in connection with a guardianship application. It does affect... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Elder Law and Health Care Law for Texas on
Q: My dad is showing signs of dementia and my mom is in denial

Mom says that dad sundowns and is becoming aggressive by being verbally abusive towards her. My mom depends on a walker to get around, she insists she is fine and can take care of him. I feel they need a live in nurse or be put in a home. My mom won’t hear of it. Will I be held liable if... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 28, 2020

While you may not be financially liable, you may find it hard to live with the consequences. At some point your father may lack legal capacity to decide where he lives (among other things). If a physician completes a Physician's Certificate of Medical Examination showing that he lacks total... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Can a Quitclaim deed be used to take my husband's name off of our second home?

Eight years ago, my husband (now 80 years old) and I (71 years old) bought a second house for our adult daughter to live in. Her disabilities are getting worse and I now live with her to help. My husband lives in our original home a mile away. The increases in property taxes here in Tarrant... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 12, 2020

A quit claim deed does not transfer title.

But a spouse can gift another spouse using either a General Warranty Deed or a Special Warranty Deed, depending on whether the underlying deed is a General Warranty Deed or a Special Warranty Deed.

You do need a lawyer to draft the deed...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Do Elder Law attorneys deal with financial and isolation abuse of an elderly family member?

If I have these suspicions, should the police get involved first, or should I consult with an attorney first? I no longer have access to current financial records and the elderly woman would probably deny any abuse.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Sep 21, 2020

You can make an online report to Adult Protective Services. You can also find an elder lawyer near you on the website of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (www.naela.org).

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Will I still need P.O.A before the ladybird deed or will either of them work? Do they need to be submitted thru court?

Can the forms be notarized or will they both be submitted through courts?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Sep 20, 2020

These documents serve entirely different functions.

A Durable Power of Attorney shares authority over the property of the person who signs it while she is alive. Both her signature and that of her agent must be notarized. If it is to affect real property, it must be recorded in the county...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2015.

Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2015. Sister has Mother. I was joint Power of Attorney and in Trust for 50 percent estate. In 2019, sister took Mother to a doctor (after Mother's MD in Tucson already said Mother was unable to make financial decisions in 2018) and had me removed... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Aug 29, 2020

Only your mother can remove you as her agent under a Durable Power of Attorney. Depending on what the trust declaration says, it may be that only she can remove you as co-trustee.

In Texas, anyone who would be a beneficiary under a Will, an heir if there were no Will, or can convince the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Can we remove an elderly person personally from a volatile situation if no one has guardianship on paper?

while we are trying to get the process going to file for guardianship can we personally remove her? There are drugs and guns in the house and the person who is taking care of her is on drugs. The police went and just asked her if she was ok and then left and the sheriffs department told us it... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Aug 6, 2020

You do not have authority. In addition, if there are guns and drugs in the house, this could be dangerous.

Adult Protective Services can offer services. She can refuse them.

Talk to a local Approved Guardianship Attorney to see whether the Lubbock court will award a temporary...
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