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Texas Estate Planning Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: How do l go about optaining a power of attorney

For my grandmother to assit with medical and legal issues

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Jun 18, 2019

It will depend on whether your Grandmother still has the capacity to sign documents. She must be aware that she is giving another person, of her choosing, these powers. If you believe that is the case you could contact an estate planning attorney to draft the documents. If cost is an issue (and... Read more »

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

Q: Texas intestate

My step uncle passed away recently without a will. My step dad is the only living family left. The only thing my uncle had to his name is a car worth about $1500 and there is a utility deposit check coming for $118. How do we go about transferring the car title and be able to cash the check without... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 12, 2019

Use a DMV Affidavit of Heirship for the car.

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

Q: hi what kind of lawyer can help with getting a land deed into my name ?

The land is in Atascosa County and should be in my mother's name and other siblings , but i found out it is in my aunts and cousin names. The property was known as the Arthur Gamble survey and was initially in my great grandfathers name, Mauricio Sanchez. Then he passed away and the siblings never... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Jun 11, 2019

I suggest meeting with a probate attorney who is familiar with real estate to review the documents in person. Land transfers to heirs if there is no will. It would not be in every single person's name, only those living and descendants of those that were living at his death and later died. It... Read more »

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

Q: Can an executrix delay assigning a deed in order to maintain control of the property?

My mother died one year ago and named my oldest sister as executrix. There are no debts and three properties. One has been sold, one is on the market, and the third my two sisters and I intend to keep. My youngest sister and I do not agree with the executrix on the management of the property. The... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 11, 2019

Take the letter to a local probate attorney and ask him to move for the court to intervene.

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

Q: Can attorney's work in different counties in Arizona or do you need an attorney for each county?

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 5, 2019

While attorneys are licensed to practice the law of a specific state, those who go to court might appear (depending on the type of case) only in a certain county or a certain group of counties.

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

Q: Texas Small Estate affidavit process, fees and durations

My Father and mother both died without a will. My dad has a Employee Stock purchase plan valued at around $18,000 and has a life insurance policy valued at 40,000. Do that qualify for the Small Estate affidavit probate process? I have got a link to Fort Bend county courts for the required forms,... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 4, 2019

While the filing fee may be around $350, you would do well to hire a lawyer to help you complete this tricky form. Before that, you would do well to make sure that the entities holding the money will accept an Affidavit of Small Estate and not require Letters of Administration.

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

Q: How can I get a letter of inheritance to close a bank account. I'm the only heir.

My Dad passed away earlier this month. I need to close his bank account. They are asking for a letter of inheritance I believe. I’m not sure if he had a will. The bank balance is just over 2,500.00.

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Jun 4, 2019

While in theory an Affidavit of Small Estate might suffice, financial institutions generally require court-issued Letters of Administration when there is no Will. Filing an Application to Determine Heirship and Issue Letters of Administration might cost you as much or more than is in the account:... Read more »

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

Q: My mother passed and owed $5000 in backed property taxes. I'm her only son.

Do I have the right to keep the house and make payment arrangements. I'm not sure if she made a Will. I'm the only servivor

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jun 3, 2019

No, not unless you doing something to get the deed changed into your name. You are in need of a real estate lawyer to help you get through this big problem--before it gets out of your hands completely.

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

Q: If an estates assets are much less than it’s liabilities, how does the personal representative handle the creditors?

The estate has $12k. The debt is $40k

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 31, 2019

The Texas Estates Code requires that debts be paid in a certain order. There are eight classes. When the personal representative does not have enough in the estate to pay a class, the remaining funds are paid to the creditors in that class pro rata. It might be a good idea to consult a local... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: Does a no contest clause in a will cover the executor of the will ?

My step brother is named executor and he had misappropriated some of the assets of before death ( with a POA) I was going to go to court file to have him removed from executor but am concerned about the no contest clause

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 22, 2019

It is hard to tell what the "no contest" clause covers without reading the Will. Texas law exempts contests brought in good faith and for just cause. From your description it sounds as though rather than contesting the distributions under the Will, you may be contesting the appointment of the... Read more »

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

Q: my brother passed in tx, he left a holographic will (I was told I was to receive everything) and a life insurance policy

(he told me I was the beneficiary). his landlord confirmed they were in his rental. my sister and/or niece found them, removed them from his rental and are denying they exist. Another family member confirmed they exist in a text message. what do I file, a small estate affidavit or a motion to... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on May 22, 2019

You should contact an attorney immediately in the area where your brother died. If you know the insurance company, you may be able to present proof of death to them and claim any funds specifically left to you.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: Can I will 100% of my 50% to my daughter?

My brother and I are Co Executors as well as being the only two equal beneficiaries of our mothers estate. Basically, We each own 50% of the estate. I am wanting to know if I can will my 50% to my daughter?

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 16, 2019

After your mother's estate has been probated and you have received your inheritance, you can will it to whomever you want. During the probate process you can disclaim your inheritance: it will pass to your child or children. Before your mother's will is submitted for probate (proving), you can,... Read more »

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

Q: Is it illegal to hide a will after someone has died ? And what can be done to force someone to produce a will ?

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 3, 2019

Yes, in Texas it is a crime. Hire a local probate attorney to file a motion to produce the Will.

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

Q: Father deceased no will I sold house,no wife or children just me how do I close bank account $1700 no debts

Father deceased July 2018 bank asking for court papers what do I need

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on May 1, 2019

Presumably title to the house was transferred to you by a Lady Bird Deed, Transfer on Death Deed or Affidavit of Heirship.

Contact a local probate lawyer about filing a Affidavit of Small Estate -- but first ask the bank whether they will accept an Order Approving an Affidavit of Small...
Read more »

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

Q: My spouse died 13 years ago, and I don't have her will. She had 2 children. I've decided to sell house. What do I do?

Will was never probated, didn't seem neccessary. Only thing we had was house. car, and her personal effects which the children got. They support me selling the house.

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Apr 30, 2019

Two witnesses who will not inherit may be able to sign an Affidavit of Heirship to transfer title to the house and a similar form to transfer title to the car. The first must be filed in the county deed records. The second with DMV.

If the children are not your children, your wife's...
Read more »

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

Q: My unmarried sister died a year ago in Colombia without a will. She had no children.

My nephews and brother in Colombia are asking me how is my financial situation, how much is my retirement pension, etc. I don't know if I am going to be treated fairly. The attorney is a personal friend of my nephew.

What action should I take? Pls give me your advice.

Thank... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Apr 29, 2019

Your financial situation has nothing to do with how much of your sister's estate you should inherit according to Columbian law.

It does have something to do with how much a dishonest administrator is willing to give you and whether he thinks you will have the ability to sue and appear in...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: my mom passed away and we had a joint checking account at Chase. Does this go to the estate? in Texas

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Apr 29, 2019

If the account was joint with right of survivor, 100% goes to the survivor now.

If the account was joint, 50% goes to the living person(s) now and 50% goes to the estate.

If it was a convenience account (signing authority but no ownership), 100% goes to the estate.

Please...
Read more »

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

Q: My parent died intestate. I’ve been told Texas law allows stepparent to lifetime rights to live in house.

House was in parent’s name only. I was told by atty that offspring heirs get the house after stepparent dies or decides to move out. I looked on property records online & after my parent died, “estate of (parent’s name)” was listed as sole owner, now 2 years later after probate has been... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Apr 28, 2019

Please check the probate records in the county in which your parent died. The property may have been willed to your step parent. If not, ask a probate attorney in that county to make sure that your inheritance right as your parent's child has been preserved.

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

Q: My Dad was an attorney. He passed away. My Step mom forged signature and notaries are her employees. Help!?!?

Filed a first and second codicil. Dofferent language and contradicts his Will.

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Apr 28, 2019

Take the documents to a local probate attorney.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on

Q: I am a beneficiary of an Irrevocle trust. I've had one distribution so far of $10k about a month ago. My uncle is trusT

NyNice Trustee said 4 more months till next distribution. I'm currently in an emergency situation and desperately need a loan. I have a spendthrift trust. Do I have any options?

Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Apr 19, 2019

You can explain the situation to your uncle. Depending on the terms of the trust instrument, he may or may not be able to make a distribution. A beneficiary can request a distribution but has no right to one.

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