Terry Lynn Garrett's answer If your friend thinks she is in further need of legal representation, she should contact the local probate court. Lawyers have a form to file with the court when they take over a deceased lawyer's practice. If this is a dependent administration, there are further steps she must take. If this is an independent administration, she should at least get a Receipt and Release in exchange for the checks. She must also file the 1040 and perhaps a 1041.
Terry Lynn Garrett's answer In Texas if you are 25 or older and a current beneficiary (not someone who might receive benefits in the future), the trustee must give you an annual accounting. If you know that the trust exists and know who the trustee is and know that you are a current beneficiary and are 25 or older, you can demand an accounting and, if it is not produced, hire an attorney to file a Motion for an Order to Show Cause ordering the trustee to explain to a judge why the annual accounting has not been produced.
Terry Lynn Garrett's answer Paternity is more easily established while a person is alive. If your daughter is a minor or disabled and you seek child support, there is a reason to seek a formal declaration of paternity and, if the father is unwilling, a paternity test.
Until the Will is submitted for probate, your daughter will not know whether she wants to contest it.
Terry Lynn Garrett's answer If there no spouse, parents, children or siblings survive, uncles and aunts and then first cousins by blood (not marriage) will inherit. In the right circumstances, even second cousins can inherit, as can those further removed. Ask a Texas attorney to file an Application for Determination of Heirship and Issuance of Letters of Administration.
Terry Lynn Garrett's answer A Power of Attorney becomes ineffective when the person who granted it dies: you cannot act as agent for someone who, being dead, cannot give you directions. No one can use a Power of Attorney to handle an estate. An executor or administrator must be appointed by the court to handle it. That person can be a felon IF all their rights have been restored.
Someone can appoint a person with a felony conviction to be their agent under a Power of Attorney while they are alive. Today a...
Terry Lynn Garrett's answer If you cannot find the more recent Will which you think exists, you will have a hard time contesting the 1987 Will. Do what you can to prove the existence of a more recent Will and contact a probate attorney who does fiduciary litigation.
Terry Lynn Garrett's answer If your mother survives him, she would inherit. If your stepmother and you survive him, she, you and any siblings would inherit. Separate property and community property would be treated differently. Please note that real property is governed by the law of the place where the real property is located. If your father owns real property outside of Texas, the law of that state or country, not Texas law, would govern inheritance of the real property.
Terry Lynn Garrett's answer No one has any right to anything until a court has ruled. The cost of probate comes out of the estate. As an heir, you can file an Application for Determination of Heirship and Issue of Letters of Independent Administration. You will need a probate attorney to do this. If all your father left was a home, up to $60,000 in personal possessions (such as clothes and furniture) and up to $75,000 in other items (such as a bank account), and all the heirs and two people who will not inherit agree...
Tammy Lyn Wincott's answer A will must be probated in Court before it is considered valid. The named executor is usually the person to apply for probate and the original will is presented to the Court. If a Court finds the will is legal then they will issue Letters Testamentary to the Executor, usually the same day. Most Courts in Texas require the Executor to have an attorney.
Tammy Lyn Wincott's answer A Small Estate Affidavit must be filed in probate court. I recommend seeing a probate attorney about this as the affidavits are frequently rejected for errors (and you lose the filing fee if rejected).
Tammy Lyn Wincott's answer If there are no debts and the non-exempt assets are less than $75,000, you may be able to file a Small Estate Affidavit; otherwise, you may need a Determination of Heirship. The jurisdiction will be where your brother passed away.
Tammy Lyn Wincott's answer You cannot actually get it in your name "literally" as there is no way to deed it to you; however, there are things you can do, such as, file an Affidavit of Heirship in the County Clerk's real property deeds, pursue heirship determination in probate court, small estate affidavit in probate court (providing you meet the criteria), etc.
It's best to consult with a probate attorney before attempting to do any of this on your own.
Terry Lynn Garrett's answer The laws are the same throughout Texas. To make sure your Will does what you want, see an estate planning attorney. To make sure your Will does not get lost, deliver it to the probate court clerks.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.