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Texas Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: I don't know if you can help me or not. My husband passed away and he had a trust in my name but I don't remember where.

How would you find out where a trust is at?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
answered on Sep 24, 2022

An attorney could help you by looking in the real estate records. Some estate planning attorneys file trusts there. Also, if you can remember who the estate planning attorney was, you can contact the attorney for a copy.

If neither of those work, our law in Texas states that the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Transfer on death deed. How does that work? Is this better than a will? My moms only asset is her house.
John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr.
answered on Sep 16, 2022

What you are referring to is a "Life Estate" deed which can be useful and save money and possibly other debts.

The Life Estate deed is generally used to avoid surrogate or probate court and to avoid the government from attaching the property if your mom has the need for medicaid...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Divorce DECREE Divested moms ex-husband of all benefits & life insurance but Valero paid him anyways. What do I do?

Mom divorce 02-12-18 Mom passes away 02-13-18. Divorce DECREE Divested him of all financial,interest bearing,money markets accts& life insurance policies. Life insurance is a Welfare Benefit in Texas,and he signed off rights to Moms pension but Valero paid him still. Probate Attorney filed... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Sep 7, 2022

You should contact the personal representative of your mother's estate. If you are an heir of your mother's estate, you should have received a notice, which could be as simple as a letter, notifying you who that individual is. If you did not receive such a letter, you can look that... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Texas on
Q: Do both settlors of a joint revocable trust have to sign any amendments made. Or can 1 settlor sign who is also trustee.
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
answered on Sep 4, 2022

It really depends on what the original trust document states. So, the answer is: "It depends". Start by looking at the trust declaration for how to amend the trust declaration. This is usually in a paragraph labeled "Revocability."

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Can I file a quit claim deed on my fathers home without harm to his VA mortgage on benefits?
John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr.
answered on Aug 27, 2022

The answer you seek would require me or any other attorney to review all of your dad's estate planning documentys and assets. Plus, the latest deed and lien on the subject property. Why are you giving a deed?

Do you own the property with your dad?

I can guide you, but do not...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Estate Planning and Family Law for Texas on
Q: In a pretrial(Not criminal law) before the jury trial. Can a judge give a verdict and not even let it go to jury trial?
Arturo C. Aguilar
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Arturo C. Aguilar PRO label
answered on Aug 20, 2022

Yes, this is called a directed verdict and means the case is so weak, that the judge takes it from the jury's hands. The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any matter. The transmission and receipt... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Texas on
Q: During a jury trial can the judge determine the verdict before(In pretrial) and it never even makes it to the jury?

This is not a criminal case. Even in a jury trial could the judge still determine the outcome basically?

Penny Wymyczak-White
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Penny Wymyczak-White
answered on Aug 14, 2022

A jury determine the issues.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Real estate in name of family Trust . Dad who signed is dead. Lawyer disbarred & says doesn't have. Help

Have new income from 1 of properties in trust. Can't open trust account to deposit $ without trust document.

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
answered on Aug 6, 2022

Do you at least have a copy of the trust document?

If not, it's still okay. In Texas, we have lots of Trust Code that lays out what happens in situations like this. This Code lays out who inherits from a trust in the absence of a written trust document.

If your bank is easy...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: If land is owned by multiple people and only one of those people is living, does the living person have 100% ownership

If the deceased people have children, does this entitle the children to part ownership of land, or do the living original owners now have all the remaining ownership? Example: 6 Original Owners, 5 are deceased but have all have children, one original owner is living. Will the 1/6 of ownership be... Read more »

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew
answered on Aug 1, 2022

It depends. Did the six original owners take title as joint tenants with right of survivorship? If so, then the entire property belongs to the survivor. It would be surprising if that were the case, but not unheard of. You need to sit down with an attorney who can examine the title to the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: When can power of attorney be used?

Does the principle/grantor HAVE to be sick/unwell or can they be healthy? If a principle/grantor is of sound mind, with no disability, illness or physical or mental incapacity, would an agent/grantee using the POA be misusing the power?

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jul 17, 2022

It depends on the wording of the POA. Some take effect immediately after they are signed. Some are only effective when the principal becomes incapacitated. If it is effective immediately, it is not necessarily a misuse for the agent to use the POA. For example, I might give my husband a POA to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Texas on
Q: What can I do??? Help

We closed on our home in April 2022. Have made two payments already! Still not living in it. Our general contractor hired a sub contractor to do our floor. Has attempted 3 times, left a razor blade in my daughters closet in the epoxy! Now is not answering calls or texts. And our general contractor... Read more »

John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr.
answered on Jul 14, 2022

I can answer your question generally. But I would want to see your contract or written agreement to be sure of how to advise you.

I'm assuming that the mortgage you are paying is for a COMPLETED house. Meaning all the construction, including laying the floors, were part of your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Family Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Can a Estate be over turned ?

my father just died i had to pay all the funeral but my half sister and her oldest sister were given an estate of my child home my mother gave me after she past 12yr ago and i have the first deed when they purchesed it ,after she past my dad was pretty much homless so i let him stay with me and... Read more »

John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr.
answered on Jun 21, 2022

You need to act fast. You should go get a copy of the Estate Paperwork, etc. They may have been required to serve you, and didn't, or created some other legal issue. However, if you do not get it all straight, you may lose anything you should have received. It sounds like you had at least 1/2... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: An Alaska lawyer "forgot" to mail me the $13K trust check from sale of my father's land. Can I file a complaint?

This was excess funds from his land being sold to pay back taxes. I had to hire the lawyer to set me up as executor. His fee came out of the excess funds and he was to then send me a check of the remaining. It had been two weeks since he said the check would be mailed. When I inquired, he said the... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Jun 14, 2022

That is possibly embezzlement or conversion by the lawyer entrusted with the sale proceeds. You should report him to the Alaska Bar. Check the internet for the regulatory agency, or call the

Governor's Office for assistance. That kind of stealing makes all real lawyers look bad.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: How do I get unclaimed assets that are pertained to me. I have lost my entire family over a 3 year span

I am from fort worth, and the unclaimed assets are there. However I am currently in tulsa Oklahoma

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
answered on Jun 13, 2022

It depends on the value of the unclaimed property. If the unclaimed property is just some money that has been deposited with the Texas Unclaimed Funds Registry and it's not very much, you can file a claim directly with the State of Texas Unclaimed Funds Registry.

If it's other...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: I Remarried my ex-wife. Does the will we had from our first marriage remain in effect ?
Scott D Reiner
Scott D Reiner
answered on Jun 8, 2022

The effect divorce has on an existing will is to read the spouse out of the will. There may be some ambiguity though as, while the law provides for reading-out, it also provides for reading-in in the event of a marriage after an existing will (e.g. unless new will made after marriage that excludes... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: One of the beneficiaries died and did not have a will. Who does the executor need to contact to notify of inheritance?

We are at the point where probate has been done and assests are being collected. One of the beneficiares died and did not have a will, so we do not know who to contact to notify of where we are in the process and what the inheritance contains.

Scott D Reiner
Scott D Reiner
answered on Jun 8, 2022

Was there an heirship proceeding or estate opened for the beneficiary who passed? Their estate representative may be the one to contact. Texas law also provides that if the devisee is a descendant of the testator or testator's parents then the gift goes to their heirs.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: My wife has a guardianship over me. I am 72 and had a kidney infection. How do I get rid of guardianship.

I can provide psychological and medical documentation that it is no longer needed. My wife will not comply. Is divorce necessary. Is it the only way. I have a paid for house and some land. She wants it evidently. She has me in a nursing home. I want out of the nursing home and guardianship and... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on May 31, 2022

Hire a TX attorney to file a Motion to Terminate the Guardianship, with a possibility of an Accounting.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Personal Injury, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Texas on
Q: What can I do about mold in my apartment if the complex refuses to acknowledge it?

When we first told them we have mold, they said it wasn’t mold but sprayed mold killer. We told them again and they are still saying it’s not mold but my kids have seen multiple doctors who all say that they are being affected by mold. I’ve shown pictures to them and everyone says that it is... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on May 29, 2022

Ask your local health department to come out and investigate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: How do I give him my home without any future risks? Like, he dies and wife inherits. Co-owner? How to add to him deed?

I'm trying to figure out what the best option is. My son and his wife will make the many costly repairs needed on my home and pay the $25,000 worth of back taxes on it. Is there a way that my son can be part owner before my death, without complications? Or must the deed be done now & state... Read more »

John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr.
answered on Apr 30, 2022

There are a few tools that can be used to help achive your goal of transferring the property to your son, while protecting it from the risk of a bad marriage or divorce later.

It would not cost much but there are special deeds, including a Life Estate, that can do what you want....
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Family Law, Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: How do I prove i signed a will under false pretenses ?

Back in October of last year, my partner was diagnosed with cancer, His daughter came to where we reside and had been discussing power of attorney with me and I said yes I would let her be responsible for his healthcare should his condition worsen after his surgery. My partner was at a hotel and... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Apr 14, 2022

Wills can be revoked. The easiest way to revoke them is to get them back and burn or shred them. I suspect that will be difficult to impossible in your case, however, so you will have to use the other method, which is to do new wills that expressly revoke all prior wills. Then entrust them to... Read more »

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