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Texas Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Texas on
Q: Parent recently died, and parent's apartment needs to be vacated. Leasing office is not responding.

Deceased parent did not leave a will. Leasing office allowed non-residents to change the locks and remove items from the apartment while ignoring the parent's adult child.

Russell Aldrich
PREMIUM
Russell Aldrich
answered on Jan 26, 2023

First off,I'm terribly sorry for your loss.

I'd need more information to be able to answer your question more fully; however, as a general rule no one is entitled to possession of a decedent's personal property until an executor or an administrator is appointed for his or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My husband recently died, he has a will, and I am Independent Executor.The house and bank account are joint

He was a vet and I filled out apps for death benefits. He does have a credit card with 4000.00 balance and medical bills are coming in. Do I need to see a probate attorney?

Penny Wymyczak-White
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Penny Wymyczak-White
answered on Jan 8, 2023

You need to get the house in just your name. Probate the will and transfer his interest of the house to yiu

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Probate for Texas on
Q: My question is in regards to a tort matter. My legal issue is prohibited by restrictions imposed by federal government.

I could not get the legal help needed, I’m indigent and I cannot afford an attorney what can I do?

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 8, 2023

There are a number of pro bono legal clinic scattered across Texas for litigants who are genuinely indigent. I’d start there.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: No assets left to estate should a will even be probated?

My father in law passed away 2 years ago. The executor of his estate never filed the will into probate. The only assets left by him were a car and house. Car was repossessed and the house sold in foreclosure auction and there are excess funds. Is there any reason at this point to bother with... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jan 3, 2023

The main purpose of probate is to transfer assets that are still in the name of a deceased person. If there are no such assets, not much purpose would be served by opening a probate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Hello, My question regards sale of land in Texas. I am one of 5 heirs to a very small tract of land.

I verbally agreed to sell my interest but didn't sign a sales contract. The realtor handling the deal had a sales contract that only had one party's name & signature as seller (not my name). The only info I had prior to closing was the sale price, that the proceeds would be split... Read more »

John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr.
answered on Dec 31, 2022

You need an attorney to handle this for you. The good news is that it should be easy to draft an agreement or release for the buyer to get their money back that protects you. However, I would need to see everything you previously signed, and anything presently offered for your signature.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: My probation is in Galveston. My son and I are having to move out due to domestic violence. All shelters are full here.

The only shelters with space are out of the county. I don't want to violate my probation. What can I do to stay in compliance?

Penny Wymyczak-White
PREMIUM
Penny Wymyczak-White
answered on Dec 19, 2022

Call your probation officer and ask for a travel permit to Harris County, Have a lawyer get you permission to live in Harris county,

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Do debts need to be paid before assets are distributed?

My father-in-law passed away this week in Texas, he had virtually no assets (lived in an apartment, had a car loan) and a lot of debt from credit cards, medical expenses. There is no will, and my husband was named executor in the POA. There is a very small amount of money in the bank, and the car... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Dec 8, 2022

A POA does not appoint an executor. Only a will does.

A POA becomes null and void when the maker dies.

When your father-in-law’s estate is probated, the personal representative must use available assets to pay debts in a specific order set by statute. First in priority is the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My mother passed away left her house to me and my sister equally how does the probate on it work
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
answered on Dec 1, 2022

If your mother had a Will, then that will goes through probate court. You'll want to have a probate attorney help you, and it may even actually be required. Anyway, find a probate attorney that focuses on probate law in your area, because they tend to do the best job for the best prices.

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3 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: I am preparing a TODD and my deceased husband's former wife's name is still on the deed. I am asked to sign name on deed

The instructions say to sign name exactly as appears on deed. My husband and his wife were divorced many years ago and he got the house; he left the house to me, but the only proof that it was his is the divorce papers. How should I sign the TODD?

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Nov 29, 2022

The prior chain of title involving your deceased husband and his former wife is irrelevant to how you need to sign your TODD to ensure that the property passes outside of probate in the event of your death.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Can my mother sue my fathers ex for my fathers ira , he has died in Texas

My father divorced my mother and she gave him everything including IRA, he has died in Texas and my mother did not know he was having an affair and married a woman , can my mother sue her fir the IRA

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Nov 18, 2022

Your mother has no claim against the IRA, but you might have a claim to the money.

First, you need to determine if the IRA has a "pay on death" endorsement or beneficiary designation and, if so, who is named. If your father named someone, whomever he named is entitled to the IRA....
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: The court has made me a dependent administrator. HOW DO I DIVIDE OR SELL AND DISTRIBUTE THE PROPERTY?

The court has made me a dependent administrator. HOW DO I DIVIDE OR SELL AND DISTRIBUTE THE PROPERTY?

I am one of five heirs ( siblings) and we do not get along and do not agree on anything. There is no money in the bank. In the inventory, my best estimate of the value of... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Nov 11, 2022

You can hold an auction. You can list everything on EBay. But, as a dependent administrator, you will need to secure the court's permission first.

If an heir thinks the highest bid you receive is too low, they can bid at the auction or on EBay.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My mother is battling cancer and her memory is not so well. I am her daughter and I have guardianship durable POA.

There is a family battle for Durable Power of Attorney, Guardianship and Executor. I am primary on all things as of this moment but my mothers mind and memory is getting worse by the week so other family members have stated that if they get her alone then they will have her sign and have notarized... Read more »

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

Given your mother's deteriorating condition and the threat of other family members to have her sign another POA, your best course of action is probably to petition a probate court for temporary or permanent guardianship of your mother.

That will probably be less expensive and more...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: My mother and brother are both disabled and live together in Texas. Mother is very I'll and we are trying to plan

There is a mortgage on the home and both are on it but my mother wants to leave her half of the interest and equity to me. Is this possible with a mortgage debt still on the home?

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Nov 7, 2022

Yes, your mother can leave her half to you even if the home has a mortgage on it. If she does that, then after she passes you and your brother will need to keep making the mortgage payments on the house lest the bank foreclose. In the end, you and your brother will probably end up selling the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Can a will be probated as a muniment of title if 10 years has passed and the will was never probated?

My husbands will leaves all property to me. Excluding our home, his estate was less than $5000. He has children from a prior marriage. I am dying of cancer and want to leave the house to my son. Are his children entitled to his half of our home even though his wil leaves it to me and specifically... Read more »

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
answered on Nov 7, 2022

Yes, you can probate as a "muniment of title". Our law office actually does this pretty frequently.

So, while there is a 4-year limitation on probating a will, there is an exception if you are "not in default" for failing to probate within 4 years. Basically, you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: My half-brother passed away with assets in a Trust. I feel like the family has not been honest with us. Please help.

The Trust contained his home, a couple IRA accounts (they informed us of these), and a parcel of land that is leased out. His home is still listed under the Trust. We found it named in property tax records. We don't know who holds the Trust and we don't know if the Trust was amended after... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Nov 3, 2022

It sounds like the attorney stopped communicating with you because he has a conflict of interest. If the attorney previously performed legal services for your half-brother related to the trust, he quite likely does have such a conflict and should not communicate with you.

You should hire...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: How do I transfer land from my deceased sister to me?

My sister passed away. She was never married and never had children. Our parents are both deceased and I am her only surviving sibling. She had a small plot of land from my parents but had no will. How do I transfer that into my name?

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Nov 2, 2022

You can either probate your sister’s estate or do an affidavit of heirship.

While an affidavit of heirship is quicker and less expensive, recent increase in deed fraud occasionally deters future buyers from purchasing property with a recent affidavit of heirship in the chain of title. So...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Grandfather passed away in Kansas, Executor lives in a different state. Which state laws apply to the amount of the fee

Executor lives in MO where Executor Fees are higher than KS (which only states 'reasonable compensation'..)

Paul Premack
Paul Premack
answered on Nov 1, 2022

The state where the Will was admitted to probate dominates. If grandfather lived and died in Kansas, then Kansas law and Kansas courts will be used.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Mother passed away in 2021 in Texas, she had no physical property, just life insurance of $110,000, how do I file this?

3 adult children, one is under the Guardianship of the state, the other one has agreed to one person controlling the estate and dividing out.

Beneficiary passed away June of 2021, she passed Sept of 2021.

Penny Wymyczak-White
PREMIUM
Penny Wymyczak-White
answered on Oct 30, 2022

The life insurance goes to the beneficiary . Call the life insurance and see who the beneficiaries are . They will give you instruction how to get the money if you have the beneficiary. You will need the death certificate

1 Answer | Asked in Insurance Bad Faith, Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My husband son passed away who named his insurance agent has beneficiary is that legal

My husband's son passed away at 50 years old after days ago and we found out that he had named his insurance agent his beneficiary is that legal

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Oct 27, 2022

It’s legal but it sure looks suspicious.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Can Pay On Death recipients access\withdraw from deceased mother's bank account if they have access?

Williamson County Texas.

3 adult heirs cooperating.

Have access to bank account that they are all listed as POD recipients.

Need funds for funeral.

Deceased needs to be flown to another state for burial.

Death certificate may take many weeks to acquire.... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Oct 27, 2022

Probably but you may encounter practical difficulties.

Most banks will require a copy of the death certificate, which normally does not take weeks and routinely is delivered online within 24 hours of making a request (usually on the same day).

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