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Texas Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Dead divorced parents no will

Both of my parents died in 2016. They were divorced in 1982 and in their divorce decree it states the home they owned was to be put in mine and my sisters name upon turning 18 at which point we could sell or live in. My father has another child from his second marriage is she entitled to any of... Read more »

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Oct 14, 2021

The answer depends on who owned the property at the time of your parents' deaths. If you and your sister owned the property, then your parents' death doesn't give anyone else rights to the property. If your parents still owned the property, then all of their heirs (either under a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Can you set up a trust funded from multiple people in different states, for a person in a different state?

I have a friend who recently passed away. A group of my friends including myself, 5 in total, would like to create and contribute to a fund for our deceased friend daughter. Is it possible to do so considering the contributors are in 3 different states (CA, TX, and GA) with the recipient being in... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 10, 2021

This can be done. Usually the trust is created and seeded by one person and then it can receive contributions from other people. A really important decision you all need to make is who is going to be the trustee in charge of investing the funds and who is going to be the trustee in charge of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: If a trust excludes someone from being a trustee can they inherit the trust?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 2, 2021

You can design your trust so that a beneficiary of your estate is excluded from being a trustee, yes.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: In a descendant's trust can it be left to a descendant's spouse?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 2, 2021

You can do that intentionally when designing your estate plan, yes.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Agricultural Law for Texas on
Q: My mother just passed and she was 1/4 owner of 640 acres give or take. I was informed today that the other current

Parties want to sell. Since my brother and I inherited my mothers party what should we be asking

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Sep 23, 2021

You should definitely meet with a probate lawyer. You will want some sort of official legal documentation to show that you now hold title to your mother's portion of the property. Plus, you want an attorney to make sure you're getting your fair share. Contact a probate attorney to see... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Texas on
Q: What type of lawyer handles house assets after Mother dies amongst siblings

My Mother died her home was owned by her & 1 sibling. Does my Mother part that she holds into the home goes to her living children?

She does not have a living will

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Sep 21, 2021

Yes. If she has no spouse and no will, then everything goes to her descendants. That would include her living children and also the children of any deceased child.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: My mom passed away with no will, the only assets she had was the house, which I was the grantor for her.

I need to put the house back to my name.

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Sep 13, 2021

If your mom left no Will, and the house is titled in her name, then it is inherited by her heirs. Her heirs would include her spouse if she was married at the time of her death, as well as her descendants. These are broad strokes. Exactly who receives what and in what proportion depends on more... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Does of affidavit of heirship mean the estate will be divided between all living heirs or can it just be for a spouse?

My Father has mineral rights in TX but passed away in CA. Does the affidavit of heirship mean that his monthly royalties will be divided between spouse and children? I am trying to see if there's a way for my mom to get the monthly royalties where it will not be divided between Her and her children.

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Aug 24, 2021

An affidavit of heirship simply identifies all the heirs of a person - it doesn't divide the property.

What those heirs will receive out of an estate depends on whether there was a will, what the will provides, whether the property is separate or community, real estate or personal...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: I'll shorten down my question that I asked earlier should I file for a quit claim deed playing adverse poss or what?

I just want to be able to have a place to lay my head I don't need a lot I don't care if I have to go without electricity or water this is all I have left of my family is this house all my family's deceased I've either buried or cremated 98% of my family in the last 10 years I... Read more »

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Aug 9, 2021

It sounds like you are having difficulty paying the mortgage and are trying to avoid foreclosure. A quit claim deed won't help in that situation (it doesn't even convey the land in Texas, and should virtually never be used).

An adverse possession claim is a way of acquiring...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My Dad passed away July 10, 2021. My dads girlfriend is still in the house. He made a point not to marry her, and to le

let everyone even the hospice nurses at the end that she wasnt his wife. Now there isnt a will. He never let her pay bills. She took 10,000 dollars back about 7 years ago. left him. But he let her come back and from then on no bills or anything were in her name, the bank had told him to do it this... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 4, 2021

It is unlawful for anyone to use another's credit card after the credit card holder has passed. You can call the credit card issuers and inform them of your father's date of death and that all charges after that are unauthorized. They will most likely ask you to send them a copy of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Hello... how to separate a real estate from the marriage community property in TX?

My dad bought a property in TX and we are both in the title. I need to separate that property from marriage community property in case I get divorced. My wife is in agreement with this approach as my dad is the owner of the property and I am just in the title in case he passes. Is this something... Read more »

Elizabeth A. Sabol
Elizabeth A. Sabol answered on Jul 26, 2021

First, I'd want to know more about how the property was acquired in the first place. Are you sure it's community property? If it was given to only you as a gift even after marriage (eg, because your dad paid for 100% of the land but put you on the deed), it's still likely separate... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: I have received a consent to independent administration. Should I sign?

How long does the independent administrator have to distribute proceeds to heirs?

Theodore David Vicknair Sr.
Theodore David Vicknair Sr. answered on Jul 20, 2021

You should ascertain with your own attorney what Texas' Independent Administration statute allows. In my state of Louisiana, it is generally limited to selling estate property without the consent of the judge. It does not affect the proceeds of the sale, which would be distributable to the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Is a Will invalid if a legal name of a child is incorrect
Theodore David Vicknair Sr.
Theodore David Vicknair Sr. answered on Jul 19, 2021

Generally, no. Is it a mere missepelling? Or is the entire name incorrect?

If a mere misspelling, a scrivner's error, that will not invalidate it. If it is an entirely different name, possibly someone who is not even know by the testator (resulting perhaps from the attorney using...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: If yes, then the answer is: after the sale, the proceeds are put into an estate account. Then, any estate expenses are

Deducted..How long does the administrator have to send to heirs?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jul 18, 2021

You can "demand an accounting" per the Code after the expiration of 15 months from the time the executor was appointed as executor. That's really the first chance you have to flex any muscle. Before that, you can always get a probate attorney to write a letter on your behalf--that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: How are assets (real estate) distributed to heirs when properties are sold under an independent administrative situation
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Jul 18, 2021

If the properties are sold to a third-party, then there would not be real estate to distribute. Are you asking how the money from the sale of the real estate gets transferred to the heirs?

If yes, then the answer is: after the sale, the proceeds are put into an estate account. Then, any...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes, Social Security, Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Is it fraud to apply for benefits from a commen law marriage if they were not even commen law married and the man died.

I have a friend who was a caregiver for an elderly couple and she was also dating their grandson and they lived with the couple. The lady died and the man knowing his time was soon as well decided to leave everything to my friend. He had papers drawn up stating that he and my friend were comnen law... Read more »

Stanley Franklin Denman
Stanley Franklin Denman answered on Jul 17, 2021

The account here is a little hard to follow. It is highly unlikely the social security administration would recognize this arrangement as a common law marriage entitling your friend to social security benefits. A common law marriage under Texas law is not created just because someone declares it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: If you do a buy out for an inherited property how is the buy out determined ? On date of death for market value ?

My brothers portion is 12.5% is his portion determined on equity in the house we still owe 142k and is that based on market value on date of death ? Or today’s market

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 14, 2021

The buy out price is whatever the buyer and seller agree upon. If the co-owners cannot agree, then one of them can take the other to court to force a sale, in which case the court will decide and everyone loses because attorneys' fees and court costs come off the top.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: how do I buy out my brother on a home that is inherited with a mortgage. His share is 12.5 % in Texas
Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Jul 14, 2021

First, you get an agreement from your brother about the value of his interest. Then have a deed prepared by a lawyer, and pay your brother for his interest in the property.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Energy, Oil and Gas and Probate for Texas on
Q: My niece was in my grandma's will 30 yrs ago to receive oil lease. It was not probated. Is the will valid? Can contested

This is in Texas. She has been receiving royalties. But can it be contested by heirs since it was not probated within 4 years?

Aimee Hess
Aimee Hess answered on Jul 5, 2021

First, be aware that your niece may also be an heir of your grandmother even if the will was not probated. The oil company may have accepted a certified copy of the grandmother's will filed in the deed records or an affidavit of heirship as evidence of your niece's entitlement to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Revocable Living Trust, one spouse dies, question.

Will the child of the deceased parent be entitled to any proceeds from the sale of the house. The property is in wife and husband's name. Should I contact a lawyer? Thank you.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 4, 2021

There is absolutely no way of knowing what the plan of distribution is under a trust without reviewing the trust instrument itself. But if the house is in the names of the two individuals as husband and wife, then that means it is not in the trust and so the terms of the trust do not matter. In... Read more »

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