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Texas Estate Planning Questions & Answers
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.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Energy, Oil and Gas and Probate for Texas on
Q: My father passed away intestate (no will), he owned his home, am I responsible for paying his utility bills?

Are his children responsible for paying the light, water, and gas bill? We plan to sell the home once cleaned, but no one is living in the home since his passing.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 11, 2019

After the Court appoints an administrator, giving that person authority over your father's property, that person is responsible for maintaining the estate.

Meanwhile, you and your siblings may want to keep the utilities on in order to maintain the property in good shape. That should bring...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My father passed away intestate, but he left my name as beneficiary on his bank account. What are my responsibilities?

Am I required to disclose the amount to anyone? Do I have to split it with anyone? Am I supposed to use it to pay his bills? He did have life insurance with another relative listed as the beneficiary. He also owned his home and his vehicles. I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 9, 2019

If the account was pay on death to you or joint with right of survivorship in you, the money is yours on presentation of a death certificate and identification.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: I want to set up a trust for my Grandson and make my Sister the administrator for his well being and not my Son.
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 5, 2019

An estate planning attorney can help you accomplish that.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My father was married to my Step-mom for over 40 years.....he has died recently but home deed was never in his name.

Do we children from him have any rights as heirs to home at all?

Rahlita D. Thornton
Rahlita D. Thornton answered on Oct 3, 2019

If the home was purchased by wife before they got married you have no rights to the real property.

5 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Does a deed need to be in parent's name in order to be considered an heir to property?

Parent died and spouse still living but the house deed was never put in his name.

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

Yes. The deed is not just some piece of paper but the official record of who owns the property.

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3 Answers | 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. 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 to show us the... Read more »

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

Everything she owned is part of her estate. Personal property which she bought before the marriage is her separate property, a share of which passes to her children from a previous marriage.

Any heir can probate the estate. Hire a local probate lawyer.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Is moms will valid from 1983, I found yesterday, if she died in 2016? Will it be honored?

I'm the only beneficiary for mom.when she died we didnt k ow she had a will so my stepdad became the beneficiary. He gave me a choice to sell or move into my home now which belonged to mom. Theres a note in his name and I'm supposed to be paying this but due to financial strain he has been and is... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 29, 2019

A will does not become stale or invalid with the passage of time. Find yourself a local probate attorney right away. If no probate was ever begun in the past, it might not be too late to right these wrongs. Probate fees are usually paid out of the probate estate.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Health Care Law for Texas on
Q: A friend is dying. He has one sister and they don’t speak. I don’t know how to contact her and he doesn’t want to. I am

His medical power of attorney. Is it too late to get him to sign a will in hospice? I just want to use his money to pay for his cremation if he even has enough.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Sep 26, 2019

Legal capacity to sign a Will is not determined by whether or not one is in hospice. You might want to contact a local elder lawyer: we make house calls. If so, use the Find a Lawyer function on the website of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (eee.naela.org)

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Can a creditor take a paid in full vehicle if debt is owed. My wife inherited it from her grandmother in a will Texas

If so is this common? When I say debt its credit card debt and overdraft in 2 bank accounts. Yes it was issued about 2 years ago. Her grandfather had it paid when he passed away.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 23, 2019

Yes, if the creditor reduces the debt to a judgement and then arranges for the local sheriff to levy on the vehicle to pay the judgement.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: How do I file to get a judgement against me based on false information?

Sulphur. OKLAHOMA

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 23, 2019

Your facts are not clear but it sounds like there is already a judgement against you and you think it was based on false information. However, if it has already gone to judgment then your opportunity to defend against the false claim has already passed. You should have presented your side of the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Estate Planning, Banking and White Collar Crime for Texas on
Q: The SDPOA is a sad joke. By not specifically requiring signature on each page, it's being manipulated by fraudsters.

A criminal title company and mortgage lender allowed an unfaithful agent to have pages changed in the SDPOA *after* it was signed by the principal, turning a permission for limited and time constrained refinance into an open ended home equity loan permission (which is also in violation with federal... Read more »

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

Like many elder and estate planning lawyers, I not only customize the document and paginate in as page x of y but require initials, birthdate and date signed on every page. We cannot protect people who simply download and sign the statutory form. Consult an elder lawyer about a suit for fraud and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Does my POA make me responsible to pay my mother's hospital bill while she is alive?

My mother, who lives in Texas was diagnosed with a terminal illness. She has but a few weeks to live. I have durable POA over her financial affairs. She owns no real property and has personal property of no value. Her only assets are in a POD bank account and a TOD brokerage account. The... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Sep 20, 2019

A Durable Power of Attorney grants you access to your mother's accounts to pay her bills, to the extent there is money in the accounts. It does not give your mother's creditors access to your accounts -- unless you avoid paying outstanding bills in hope that everything will pass POD/TOD, thus... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: what would happen to my mothers home if the state is issued guardianship

I live with my mother in her home in Texas. She has dementia and its getting to the point I can't care for her. She has not appointed anyone power of attorney. I was wondering what would happen to her home if state rules she needs to be placed in nursing home if they become her guardian. Her home... Read more »

Jon R. Boyd
Jon R. Boyd answered on Sep 18, 2019

You should consult with an Elder Law/Estate Planning attorney. This is for Family Law questions.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Concerning community property, real estate owned by john smith testamentary trust, john smith trustee, wife entitled .5?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 18, 2019

It sounds like this is property inherited by john smith. Inherited property is separate property, not community property.

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Does real estate owned by a testamentary trust fall under ‘community property’?
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Sep 18, 2019

A person can only transfer what they have. If someone had a 50% community property interest in real property, that is all the testamentary trust has. The surviving spouse retains the other 50%.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My brother just died. He was divorced for many years and had two children with his ex-wife but gave up parental rights.

So her new husband could adopt them. Do the children have a right to his property and get to decide how and where he will be buried? Also our mother and father are deceased. As the oldest sibling do I have the right to make these decisions. My brother had no will.

Thank you!

Jon R. Boyd
Jon R. Boyd answered on Sep 17, 2019

It depends. If his rights were formally terminated by a Texas court order, that order would have normally had a paragraph stating whether the rights to inherit were terminated as well. Get a copy of that order and call me or consult an attorney.

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