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Texas Elder Law Questions & Answers
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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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: How do we handle financial abuse of a 100 yr old grandmother with dementia? No one will help us.

The son of my grandmother passed away. She was living in his house with his wife who constantly wanted her gone. Her other daughter and son have been trying to get her out of the house since he passed. They will not let us see or talk to her. When they found out that if we took her we would... Read more »

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

Elder abuse and exploitation can be reported online to Adult Protective Services, which has the ability to access bank records without a subpoena.

If the son has been granted a Durable Power of Attorney by your grandmother, any beneficiary under her Will, any heir if she does not have a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: How can my siblings on medicaid receive approximately $30,000 each from the sale of my parents' small farm in Texas?

4 siblings

2 receiving Medicaid (hospice at home due to cancer; surgeries & related treatments due to heart condition)

25 acre farm with an approximately 100 yr old home in dire need to repairs to be livable

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Aug 3, 2020

They can't. Medicaid comes from the general tax revenues, not from a fund we have all paid into. For that reason, a Medicaid recipient can have no more than $2,000 in the bank. They will simply have to pay for care until the money is gone. Please note that if your siblings disclaim their... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Can a spouse have a person with dementia sign legal papers?

My father is 98 and in a nursing home. He has always been adamant that his house would go to his children. Now his wife, who has insisted for years that he Has dementia, has gotten him to give her the house. What is our recourse?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jul 17, 2020

Some people in the early stages of dementia have a "lucid moment" in which they have legal capacity to sign a Will. The doctor's diagnosis should tell you whether this is a possibility for your father. If not, report the matter to Adult Protective Services. You may also want to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: I need advise on transferring a home deed into my name.

The deed is in my dad name with moms being second. Dad passed in 1980. Mom is 83 and had lived in the home since his passing but never dropped his name from the deed. Dad left no will. Mom has a will with me as POA. How and what do I need to do to get this deed tranfered into my name before she... Read more »

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

The first step would be to transfer your father's 50% community property interest to your mother. At this point, she could do this with an Affidavit of Heirship recorded in the county deed records.

It is not clear that your mother should transfer the home to anyone while she is alive....
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Can my elderly mother purchase my home to make it into her primary residence and still qualify for Medicaid?

This will be an arm's length transaction.

Once she purchases my house, all her cash will be converted into home equity. She doesn't own another house. This will be her primary residence.

She currently lives with me so I can look after her. If we make this transaction, will... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 27, 2020

She should record it with the central appraisal district as her homestead and live there at least a month before entering a nursing home and applying.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Can a POA (her daughter)stop me from visiting my great grandmother,even though I visit her every weekend and I ask her

My great grandmother can not remember much,but I always ask if I can come over and spend the day with her and she says yes,from what iv researched even though her daughter is the POA,that doesn't give her power over visitation.

Hon. Richard W. B. Davis
Hon. Richard W. B. Davis answered on Jun 16, 2020

If it is a standard Statutory Durable Power of Attorney that your great grandmother's daughter has, that would authorize her to deny visitation. Similarly, even is she has a Medical Power of Attorney, that is designed to allow her to make medical decisions on your great grandmother's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: I fully understand!! Thank you so much!!

I just found this organization today and I appreciate your help. Does this organization set up virtual meetings? Could I make an appointment or would I have to help my boyfriends mother set it up since she is the one who would qualify for services?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 16, 2020

Individual lawyers set up virtual meetings. Like our courts, many of us are now operating by Zoom. It may be your boyfriend's mother who would want to set up the meeting.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Thank you! So she can apply for Medicaid right now to get help with prescription drug costs?

Or does she only qualify for nursing home costs due to home ownership? And.... would taking a home equity loan to pay for improvements to the house affect social security payments or potential Medicaid benefits?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 16, 2020

One would have to know the full picture to answer these questions.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: Hi, does a Lady Bird Deed allow someone to qualify for medicaid who would not qualify because of home ownership?

My boyfriends mother owns a house in Austin that has drastically increased in value but is currently in great disrepair. I want to figure out how to help her fix her house up to make it more livable and safer for a person in their 70's and help her qualify for Medicaid benefits. She is... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 16, 2020

In Texas a home is not counted in determining eligibility for nursing home Medicaid.

The effect of a Lady Bird Deed is to transfer ownership of the home on death, free of probate and so, in Texas, free of Medicaid estate recovery. A Lady Bird Deed has no effect on ownership or property...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: What can I do to stop my siblings from stealing everything off my mother's the legal way?

I have a bedridden mother that I take care of her home 24/7. My older sister got my mother to sign power of attorney to her without my mother realizing what she had signed. So my mother revoke that. They were selling her property without her permission and now trying to sell her home and put her... Read more »

Hon. Richard W. B. Davis
Hon. Richard W. B. Davis answered on Jun 11, 2020

You should contact an attorney about filing an Application for Guardianship to ask a Court to make you the guardian of your mother.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Animal / Dog Law, Elder Law and Health Care Law for Texas on
Q: under what circumstance can my 15 cats be taken from me?
Chad Zubi
Chad Zubi answered on May 30, 2020

You need to give some more background information. Your question is too broad to give a good answer.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Small Claims and Contracts for Texas on
Q: someone ripped me off on home repairs

they claimed to know what to do. a local handyman service. found them on facebook marketplace. they didn't do the job right. i paid for materials and paid 500 for work. it was the underneath of the belly of my trailer. now the insulation is hanging down and the belly is on the ground- what... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 27, 2020

Take good pictures. Keep your written contract. File in Justice of the Peace (small claims) court.

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: What happens when my stepmother is POA and does not allow me to visit my elderly father at their residence?

I suspect something is wrong at my elderly father’s home. My stepmother is the POA. I went to visit him and he was covered in bruises including a black eye. She said he suffered from a stroke 4 days earlier and he told her he did not want to go to the hospital. Is that even legal? When I... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 27, 2020

Report the bruises to Adult Protective Services immediately (before they fade) and ask the hospice workers to do the same. A stroke does not cause bruises.

Also report that your stepmother is denying your father access to other family members. An agent under a POA, financial or medical,...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Adoption, Banking and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: If a judge comes to a judgment but my attorney did not notify me about court and went in to court and the judge ruled wi

The judge did not even here or see my evidence of fraud or abduction or holding a love one hostage or the stolen car insurance money .and I lost property , my love one , my money stolen from account .what should I do or how can I get justice !! Who do I contact? Or tell ? Do I fire my lawyer and... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 11, 2020

The State Bar of Texas has a client dispute resolution process. You may want to avail yourself of it.

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law for Texas on
Q: My sister has $100k and we private pay nursing home/care at about $10k/Mo. What does she do when zero money is left?

I am her brother. She is in Waco and I am in Dallas. She is 54 and is disabled as of 11/18.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 7, 2020

If she has a medical necessity for skilled nursing care (which she does) and no more than $2,000 (which you anticipate), and an income below the income limit either on its own or by flowing it through a Qualified Income Trust (also called a Miller Trust), she will qualify for Medicaid. She can... Read more »

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