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Texas Estate Planning Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Elder Law for Texas on

Q: Is spouse's Defined Benefit Pension part of QDRO? Even though spouse selected single life annuity & no death benefits?

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Aug 22, 2019

What will go into the QDRO is a matter of negotiation.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Texas on

Q: Texas laws: Can A Guardian of an elderly mother, who is incapacitated, withdraw funds from her mother's living trust?

Mother & father are settlors, primary beneficiaries, & co-trustees. Mother has been incapacitated. Father has been grossly negligent in his fiduciary duties as co-trustee. He has withdrawn/spent large amounts from the trust for his own benefit & didn't use any of the withdrawals for mother. Father... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Aug 22, 2019

The rights of an incapacitated co-trustee of a revocable living trust depend on what the trust document says. Most revocable living trust documents state that the co-trustee, in this case the husband, shall make all decisions in that event. Similarly, most revocable living trust documents state... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Elder Law for Texas on

Q: Texas--Elderly parents retired & divorcing. Is wife entitled to husband's defined benefit pension plan?

Husband chose single life annuity monthly payments on his pension so he is currently receiving 100% pension payments. His pension will end at his death so wife will get nothing. Can wife claim part of his monthly pension payments when divorce is completed? Or can wife claim lump sum payment based... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Aug 22, 2019

The safest way to handle this may be to get a Qualified Domestic Relations Order as part of the divorce decree.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on

Q: Does homestead act over-ride the execution of the last will. The nephew never owned the house it belonged to the estate.

great aunt passed and left everything to her to a select few of her nieces and nephews, One of the nephews was very sickly and not expected to live long, he could live in the house until he died then the house would be sold and divided amongst the remaining living. If he ever moved he would sell... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Aug 16, 2019

No, if the decedent had a Last Will the property should pass in accordance with the will.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: My sister and the will.

The will simply states we have equal shares, 50/50. What do I need to do about my sister not allowing me to see financial records and I've requested that from her four times what is it that I need to file with the court?

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Aug 16, 2019

Talk to your probate lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on

Q: Question about mom passing in 03/19 and my stepdad still living and in their house. What are my mom's children's rights

I live in TEXAS. My stepdad has postponed us collecting my mom's belongings inside from 6-8 months after her death and decided to stay in the home. It raised my suspicions since my mom had undiagnosed Dementia before death. Do I have a right to ask for the will from him?? I know I was the... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Aug 16, 2019

Ask for the will in order for it to be probated. Your mom may have named him as beneficiary on the account that held her inheritance funds and that can pass to him without the will. If you have a copy of the will you can begin the probate process with that and get an order for him to appear and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate, Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for Texas on

Q: Can my sister make me move out

Im co executrix with my sister of mom's will. I moved into mom's house after she passed a year ago. The Will has been through probate. Can my sister make me move

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Aug 16, 2019

It depends on who the beneficiary of the house is. If it is both of you then you'll probably have to fight it out in court.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on

Q: My mom passed awAy leaving me 1/2 of her and my stepfathers home. Its Mortgaged. Does he have to pay me to 1/2 the value

Th

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Aug 16, 2019

You're question isn't clear. If she left you her interest in the property then you are a co-owner with your step-father and the property comes with an encumbrance (the mortgage). Anything paid over and above your step-father's interest in the home is subject to a reimbursement claim from him when... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on

Q: Do I need a lawyer to have a Trustee removed from a trust and where would I get the paper work to file this petition?

My mother left a revocable trust and my brother was left to take care of this when she passed, well before she passed my brother and my mom got in a tiff and he said he washed his hand's of this and thru the book at the second in line for taking care of business. well nothing was done in writing... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 16, 2019

If your brother will no sign a written resignation then you will need to go to court to get him removed. This is not a do it yourself project.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate, Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for Texas on

Q: Im co executrix/sister of mom's will. I moved into the house after Mom died. Can my sister now make me move

My sister is the other co executrix with me. She agreed I move in mom's house after she died. Now she wants me to move out. Can she make me do so

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Aug 15, 2019

If you are a beneficiary, then you can live there; however, until the will is actually admitted to probate in Court it is not valid and no one may act as executrix.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Social Security, Estate Planning and Family Law for Texas on

Q: My ex-husband died suddenly in April. Our only child has been in ICU since last July, and is disabled

My child turned 18 in July. He needs a heart and kidney transplant. His stepmother wants to discontinue child support and his health insurance, as my child now receives his father's SSI death benefits. He is ineligible to receive Medicare, Medicaid, or SSI disability due to receiving these death... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 15, 2019

Do you have a question?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Civil Litigation for Texas on

Q: Does the tx homestead act override a last will and testament if the remaining person in the home is not include the will

great aunt passed and left everything to her to a select few of her nieces and nephews, One of the nephews was very sickly and not expected to live long, he could live in the house until he died then the house would be sold and divided amongst the remaining living. If he ever moved he would sell... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Aug 15, 2019

If he owned the home, then the surviving spouse has a "life estate" enabling her to remain in home for remainder of her life. There are responsibilities she must undertake; however, that is best discussed in a private consultation with a probate lawyer.

The estate will need to be probated;...
Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: How can I go about to having my grandma house transfer to me when she has two daughters alive?

I took care of my grandma 4 years before she pass and also I am guardian and power of attorney of my aunt that is mental retard. My grandma left a house behind that my mother doesnt wanna have anything to do with the house and on my aunt condition she cant have anything with estate and money... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Aug 12, 2019

A notary is not a lawyer and should not be giving legal advice. See a local probate attorney

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Probate for Texas on

Q: I discovered after mom's death that she hadn't filed my taxes in 22yrs and I haven't filed 2018. What am I obliged to do

I'm 63 + living on a small pension, disability and retirement savings. I've always sent my mom(CPA) all my tax stuff. During this time the IRS has only contacted me 2x re fraudulent returns + gave me a pin#. She must've felt I'd owe $0. Can I file the last 6yrs taxes only(incl 2018)? My 2018... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Aug 12, 2019

You need to contact a CPA as soon as possible and discuss this with them. The forum is for general answers and your situation requires a private consultation with an expert.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: Where can I get help understand and fill out a Texas Quick Claim Deed..

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 9, 2019

Real property transactions are usually high stakes, relative to the net worth of most people. And mistakes can be VERY EXPENSIVE to fix, often involving litigation years down the road. Do yourself a huge favor and hire an attorney to advise you. A Quitclaim deed might not be the best choice. It... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Gov & Administrative Law for Texas on

Q: Can a Son of a terminally ill parent that is not of their right mind have a document signed to sell the parents home?

Even when close friends know it is not her wish.

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Aug 4, 2019

If a person's dementia has progressed to the point that she lacks legal capacity to contract, the contract is void and the attempt to profit from it is exploitation of an elderly person, a first degree felony in Texas. Contact APS.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on

Q: My first wife passed in 2009. We have real estate with both names recorded with Ellis county.

I never recorded the death certificate of the decedent with Ellis county clerk; do I need to do that? I have since remarried, deceased wife’s name is still on the property deeds and needs to be changed to second wife’s name as joint owner, what documentation is needed to do that? I would like... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Jul 26, 2019

I strongly suggest you speak to an estate planning/probate attorney as there are some steps needed in order to make the transfer you want valid. It is not the death certificate that gets recorded, there is other paperwork depending on circumstances that must be filed to establish title to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on

Q: Can the executor of a will be a felon?

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Jul 24, 2019

Generally, no.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on

Q: So in 2016 my Father passed away. I didn’t know until recently because we were not in contact & no one contacted me.

Me & my 2 Brothers were the only heirs besides his wife. Legally we were his heirs and I feel like we should have been contacted. I was told the wife took her portion of the estate. What happens to the rest?

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Jul 23, 2019

Check the county records where he owned property and/or died to see if a probate proceeding ever happened. If he left a will then the estate would be distributed according to that after all expenses and debts paid; however, if he did not leave a will and had children from a previous relationship,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on

Q: What are Beneficiary's rights for non-disclosure of assets and also sale of primary house?

My Dad's Will was probated and non of the beneficiaries received any information including assets An Affidavit in Lieu of Inventory was filed.

Mom (Executor) just sold the primary residence. Are we entitled to any of the proceeds?

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jul 19, 2019

It depends on what the Will says. Once a Will has been submitted for probate, it becomes a public document. Check with the county probate court.

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