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Texas Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: My grandmother said she put me in her will. After her passing, my Mother and Uncle said there is no will. What can I do?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 2, 2021

There is not a whole lot you can do if you cannot locate the original will. Even if you locate a copy of the will, you will have an uphill battle getting it into probate because the law presumes that when an original will can't be found, the testator is presumed to have destroyed it with the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: How do I get the money out of my father's Wells Fargo bank account? My father died on August 2, 2020 without a will.

I am his only child and he was not married. Wells Fargo told me I have to go through the Probate Court to get the money because it is more than $1,500. How do I do that?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Apr 28, 2021

Depending on what your father left, you may be able to file a Small Estate Affidavit or may need a hearing on an Application for Determination of Heirship. Talk with a local probate attorney to find out which would work best in your situation.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: I had a question about an inheritance of a house from a parent.
Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Apr 20, 2021

Unless you post your question, no one can answer it.

Inheritance is either by will, or by intestate succession. Here's a chart that explains who inherits property if there is no will. https://texaslawhelp.org/sites/default/files/texas_descent_and_distribution_chart.pdf

Using...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: What all can I know about my deceased Grandpa's settlement? I've already proved I am his heir, so when can they tell me

how much it is, how long this will take, can I get partial now,or anything else I should know??

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Apr 18, 2021

It is not clear what you mean by "settlement." If this is a probate proceeding, the court documents are public. In the US, on average, it takes two years to settle an estate.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Stepmom and Dad passed away 8 months apart both with wills

My stepmom and dad passed away 8 months apart they both have wills. My stepmom’s will and dad’s will hasn’t gone through probate yet. Should both will be probated or only the one that passed away second?

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Apr 16, 2021

Both need to be probated. The good news is that it's often less expensive to probate two wills at the same time. At our probate law office, we call it "piggyback probates"! The reason they both have to be done is because the first spouse's name needs to be removed from title... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My mother passed away last month. I was her P.O.A., her guardian, etc. She was a ward of the court because my brother

went behind my back and got her P.O.A. from me. He took her to her bank and got a good deal of her savings (She had dementia.) She was in a nursing home and they reported him to the court. The judge sold her house for 88,ooo and 4 lawyers took 58,000. The rest of the money is in the Registry of... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Apr 15, 2021

The Tarrant County Court should have at least a list of all the filed documents online. Whether you are entitled to some or all of the money in the court registry is another question.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: I have an aunt who is the executor to my grandfathers will (nonprobated) how can we change the owner of the deed?

Trying to transfer the deed to my grandmothers name because she is still living how do we do that?

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

The Only way to transfer title to your grandfather's property is to probate the will. The executor, when appointed by the court, will have authority over your grandfather's property, to dispose of it according to the will. Until that happens, no one has authority to sign anything at all... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Life Insurance where beneficiary is deceased

My father in law had a life insurance policy through his job. He had his wife listed as the beneficiary. She passed away last year and he passed away this year. He never changed the beneficiary. The paperwork we received ask for death certificates for both as well as heir information. The life... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 12, 2021

The answer it, it depends. Usually life insurance is NOT part of an insured decedent's estate. However, it can end up being part of an estate if there are no living death beneficiaries when the decedent died. If the life insurance policy listed your father-in-law's wife as his primary... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: What can be done if executor refuses to probate will in Texas?

The executor doesn’t want to probate the will because he wants to live in the house of his deceased stepdad. He is not paying the mortgage. All beneficiaries listed in the will want to sell the home to close out the estate. We don’t know what to do.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 6, 2021

Any of the other beneficiaries can open a probate court and petition the court to be appointed executor. The court does not have to appoint the executor nominated in the will if that person refuses to act. If the person in possession of the will refuses to turn it over to the court, the court can... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Judge ordered family allowance but Attorney refuses to pay that amount. What can I do? I let my attorney go already.

My husband had no children and died with an old will. The millions will go to his college. They have been awful. The judge also ordered the car to me and the Executor and her Attorney refused in writing to do anything or fill out forms to transfer title. They are now stating that they are not... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Apr 5, 2021

Write a letter to the court, including any correspondence from them. Then get a new attorney or rehire your old one.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: No will. Father died & Step-mother living in home. Children due $ upon home sell. Home repairs at the expense of who?

Do the Children have to pay upfront for home repairs prior to sell of home? What if the home never sells.

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Apr 1, 2021

No, there's no requirement for the children to pay for step-mom's home repairs.

If the property was your father's separate property, the children inherit it, subject to the surviving spouse's life estate. (Meaning she has the right to use the property during her...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Mom and dad were separated he died left everything to her in the will. I was in process of moving back into a house I've

Had on property over 20 yrs can she stope

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Mar 28, 2021

In Texas one is either divorced or married. Whether your parents were separated for 20 minutes or for 20 years, your mother is still your father's widow and inherits under his Will.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Executor not named on Dad's will. Person to become personal representative is not fit to do it. What can I do?

Court date to validate will and personal representative is set. Person trying to become the personal representative has already transferred assets into her name that belonged to a different beneficiary, and I suspect she abused power of attorney to do so. Do I need to file anything with the court... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Mar 19, 2021

Hire a local probate lawyer to protect your interests.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: The attorney I hired to handle the probate of my husband's will died. How do I find out the status?

I believe the last thing she did was file the Section 308 Affidavit of Notice. There were not any assets and she said a few debt collectors had contacted her, but she needed to "review the filings to see if any other claims were filed". She was wonderful, but now I don't know what... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Mar 17, 2021

Contact the state bar. We have recently been given the opportunity to designate someone to handle our open files.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: What if I cant find all the heirs during a probate

My uncle died like 6 or 7 years ago and noone has claimed the property I was verbally given the property but that dosnt mean anything I wanna do a probate but he had 5 kids and i can only find one of his kids who wants nothing to do with the property

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Mar 16, 2021

You can file to probate his estate before you find all the heirs but will have to find them, even if this means hiring a P.I.. Some probate lawyers have databases which they will check. You may find this is enough. As for the child who wants nothing, that person can disclaim the inheritance and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: are widows in the state of Texas required to pay unsecured debt belonging to the deceased spouse?
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Mar 13, 2021

No. A person's debt is their debt, not that of their spouse.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: So Far Two Local Attorneys Can't Riddle It. Law, Probate, Real Estate Question; Apparently Intricate Details.

My Grandma (4/17) and Dad (11/3) have passed away in the last year, both intestate. I need to know if her possessions, specifically house and car, went to him even though they weren't "officially" transfered over? I was a step child to him and was never adopted after my Mom and him... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Mar 13, 2021

If you were never adopted, you will only inherit if something was left to you by name in the Will. Where what went or where what might go without a Will does not matter: it will never go to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: I am one of the beneficiaries on my late deceased mother’s estate. In the period of her death my health has declined I’m

I am one of the beneficiaries on my late deceased mother’s estate. In the period of her death my health has declined I’m in renal failure and had a stroke. The estate was in probate for 3 yrs due to the fact step father protested the will (greed). Now consider this I was on deaths door. My... Read more »

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt answered on Mar 11, 2021

You'll definitely want to get a probate lawyer ASAP. You'll definitely want someone to protect your rights. It sounds like have of the restaurant and home belong to your mother's estate, of which you're a beneficiary. I would get an attorney to help you demand an accounting... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Can court appointed admin sell dad’s homestead if will left to caregiver child. Will contest hasn’t been heard in court.

My spouse and I took care of my parents and their large old home and 40 acres for13 years. They’re now deceased. Our sacrifice kept Dad from being on Medicaid and lose the family homestead. Dad left homestead, 11 yr old car and 16 yr old truck to me in will as compensation and appointed me ind... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Mar 11, 2021

You have a probate attorney with whom you can discuss the probate matter.

With regard to housing, please contact the local Area Agency on Aging. There is subsidized senior housing through HUD and through private organizations.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Common law marriage and property question

My

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Mar 8, 2021

"Common law" marriage does not exist. Your mother may apply for a determination of heirship and attempt to prove an informal marriage (1) registered with the county clerk without benefit of ceremony or (2) based on evidence tending to prove that (a) both parties intended to be married;... Read more »

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