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Texas Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Can you inflate the value of an estate

Do you have to have a basis for valuation?

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew answered on Dec 5, 2019

It isn't illegal to be wrong about the value of assets. Amended inventories and accountings are filed when necessary. Beneficiaries can file complaints with the court and object to valuations recited in an inventory or accounting. I need more context to understand why or how the personal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: I have a client who's husband just died and I wanted to know how can she set the warranty deed under her name.

She wants to take out her husband's name out and only have it under her name.

Jon R. Boyd
Jon R. Boyd answered on Dec 4, 2019

She needs to either probate his Will or have an intestate proceeding, such as Petition to Declare Heirship, etc.

I'd be happy to help if you/she needs it. Have her call me.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Consumer Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: My house sold in auction sept 3,2019. I have still been living here up to present date What are my rights

Received a letter from law firm stating if I was the prior deed holder, I had 3 days to vacate the premises. I guess I need guidance as to who what and where I’m supposed to go or do now Also would like to know about any known resources and rights I actually have concerning this I am trying... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Dec 4, 2019

You need to search for resources in the area you live in as soon as possible. It is possible for the Sheriff to come evict you at any time. Try your local city government, city councilman, salvation army, area council of government, churches, veteran's groups, etc.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: If I haver a small estate, under 100K, no debts, no fixed assets, can I make my own will and power of attorney ?

I have copied and edited a will/last testament, power of attorney and medical directive from online to fit my situation. I can file them with the county clerks office. Do I still need a probate attorney?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Dec 3, 2019

Your Medical Power of Attorney and Advance Directive to Physicians and Surrogates should be given to your physicians and the people they name. Your Durable Power of Attorney should be filed in the deed records of the county in which any real estate it governs is located. Some county clerks do... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My mother left my half sister in charge of her money and my sister died and my mother still alive who gets money

Because my mom still alive and has 2 living children is it legal for my deceased sister to leave her husband in charge of my living mothers money

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Dec 3, 2019

It is not clear what "in charge" means in your description. If your mother appointed your stepsister her agent under a Durable Power of Attorney, that document might or might not give your stepsister the authority to appoint a successor agent.

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2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: What can I do? I already have an Advance Directive? The APS says Dad has diminished capacity. What to do?

Dad got lost while out driving and wound in a strange place. He wound up I'm a hospital, then into a short term facility and then went to a long term place and we are paying the bill for it.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 29, 2019

In Texas a Durable [Financial] Power of Attorney is the document your father would have signed to name and grant an agent the power over his finances needed to access his bank account, sell his property and pay for his care. If your father did not sign that document while he had capacity to do so.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My sister and I are co-executors of parent's will, she passed away before them. Am I sole executor ?

Do I need to obtain sister's death certificate ? Would another co-executor be named by court ?

Jon R. Boyd
Jon R. Boyd answered on Nov 25, 2019

Depends on what the Will says.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: My father passed away and I live in his house, how do I transfer ownership in my name so I can sell?

My father passed away and I live in his house, my brother doesn't want anything out if it and said he will sign whatever needs to be signed, I had another brother who passed away, he had 4 kids they will all sign as well, what paperwork do I need to file? We do not want to go to probate, would an... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 14, 2019

In theory, if your father left nothing but the house and had no debts (owed no income or property or other taxes, had no medical or funeral expenses, had no credit card debt, never used Medicaid, etc.), a title company would accept an Affidavit of Heirship and you could avoid probate. A court... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: My dad passed in Texas a month ago. No will. Both of my brothers are incarcerated. I'm in Montana. What can I do?

I have death certificate too. One wants probate the other, heirship. Sister in law is power of attorney over one brother. What rights does she have as his power of attorney?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 6, 2019

The agent under a power of attorney can do no more than the person granting it. If that person is a convicted felon who has not had his rights restored, he cannot act as administrator of the estate and neither can his agent.

An Affidavit of Heirship only passes title to real property and...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: What are the tax implications of gifting a home to your children?

My parents are going to gift one of their properties to me and my adult disabled child. There will be a substantial capital gains tax on this property. How do we go about transferring ownership without a realtor? When and how will this capital gains tax be due?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 5, 2019

Your parents might incur a gift tax for the amount of the gift over $60,000 ($15,000 x2 recipients x 2 grantors), but it is not likely because together they have an approximately $22 million lifetime exemption.

The two of you (gift recipients) will inherit your parents' basis in the...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Estate Planning and Identity Theft for Texas on
Q: How to get Fidelity 401k to unlock my account.

I have had id theft issues for years. Recently this affected my 401k my account was locked due to thief tried to access account and changed email address. They said they needed to verify my identity and so I sent them copies of dl, ssn and also sent them several police reports that I have... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 3, 2019

Roll that account over to an IRA with a different custodian. The new custodian will help you get it rolled over. Fees might be higher but at least you will get access to your funds. Before you withdraw from it make sure you understand the tax implications.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: can i remove my brother as executor of my moms estate
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 30, 2019

If your mother named your brother and the court appointed him, only the court can remove him. You can petition the court to remove him if he has not produced an accounting within 60 days following your demand after 15 months or if he has not distributed the estate after two years or if you have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: CAN I TAKE THE EXECUTER OF ESTATE AWAY FROM HIM? HOW DO I DO IT. CAN THEY SELL HOUSE WITHOUT MY PERMISSION?

IN FEB. OF 2016 MY MOTHER ASKED ME TO COME STAY WITH HER TO HELP CARE FOR MY STEPDAD WHO WAS ON HOSPICE AND HAD ONLY A FEW WEEKS LEFT TO LIVE .MY 4 BROTHERS ALSO AGREED..SHORTLY AFTER MY STEPDAD DIED MY MOTHER WAS ALSO DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER SO SHE ASKED ME TO MOVE IN INDEFINETLY. SO I PACKED UP... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Oct 30, 2019

One can't just make themselves Executor of an estate without actually going to Court and asking the Court's permission to do so. If there has been no petition to the Court then that is where everything starts.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: How to file to become an executor over a very small estate.
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 28, 2019

Depending on what is in the estate and on your relationship to the deceased, you and all the other heirs may be able to file an Affidavit of Small Estate. When people try to do these without a lawyer, about half are denied. There are some detailed, perhaps rather persnickety, requirements. Hire... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Is there a law stating utilities have to be maintained with an estate in probate

I am the administrator of estate and funds are running low house has been on market since November 2017

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 23, 2019

How unfortunate! While an executor is required to preserve the estate, you cannot pay what you do not have. Maybe you can revisit the situation with the realtor to determine what can be done to sell the house.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: tow do I know my child is getting what is rightfully his? I don't trust them one bit what do I need to do

My mother in law passed and I was told she had no will. So her home selling would be split between the grand kids. The family wants me to have these papers notarized but I don't know what they are ? Chapter 1351 of the texas estate code. But it looks like my husband name is on the top as soul... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 17, 2019

We don't know what those papers are either, without seeing them, and we don't want to guess. Your best bet is to take them to a local probate attorney for advice.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: my husband got a divorce and won his house in a divorce decree before we got married he never changed the deed he passed

the ex wife passed he had a notarized will leaving everything to me would his kids be abled to be entitled because her name is on the deed

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Oct 15, 2019

A certified copy of his divorce decree must be filed in the county deed records and his will needs to go through probate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: How can I get the property transferred into my name without a will or going through probate?

In 2017 both of my parents passed away, my mother owned a portion of the 2 acres located in Texas where she lived until her death, while my uncle in California owned the rest. After the passing of my mother, the entirety of the estate went to my uncle, (Still under his name) couple of months later... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Oct 15, 2019

If all heirs agree then there is a way to do it without it going to probate; however, it requires a great deal of detail and I suggest hiring a lawyer to help you.

Whether or not anything was probated in CA will also be important. Again, it's best to consult directly with a lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Does Texas accept a legally transcribed Declaration if Heirship from Puerto Rico?

They died intestste11 months apart in Puerto Rico. They had assets un Texas. Money in bank accounts, CD's, my mother's spousal IRA that matured the year she died, stocks with the same company as the IRA, and oil/gas rights.

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Oct 14, 2019

Short answer is yes it can be done; however, it has to meet certain criteria and there must be certain steps taken to actually authenticate everything for Texas. I suggest you speak with a probate attorney in Texas.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My mom died without a will. Are the jewelries will be part of the estate?

Our stepfather doesn't want to give the jewelries from my mother. Before she died she told him that it belongs to her children, we have witnesses. Most of them were bought when she was still single (not married to him) and some are from my grandmother. What action should we do? He doesn't even want... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Oct 11, 2019

Contact a probate lawyer for further guidance and do not wait too long to do so.

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