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Texas Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: My father passed away and I live in his house, how do I transfer ownership in my name so I can sell?

My father passed away and I live in his house, my brother doesn't want anything out if it and said he will sign whatever needs to be signed, I had another brother who passed away, he had 4 kids they will all sign as well, what paperwork do I need to file? We do not want to go to probate, would an... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 14, 2019

In theory, if your father left nothing but the house and had no debts (owed no income or property or other taxes, had no medical or funeral expenses, had no credit card debt, never used Medicaid, etc.), a title company would accept an Affidavit of Heirship and you could avoid probate. A court... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: My dad passed in Texas a month ago. No will. Both of my brothers are incarcerated. I'm in Montana. What can I do?

I have death certificate too. One wants probate the other, heirship. Sister in law is power of attorney over one brother. What rights does she have as his power of attorney?

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Nov 6, 2019

The agent under a power of attorney can do no more than the person granting it. If that person is a convicted felon who has not had his rights restored, he cannot act as administrator of the estate and neither can his agent.

An Affidavit of Heirship only passes title to real property and...
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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: What are the tax implications of gifting a home to your children?

My parents are going to gift one of their properties to me and my adult disabled child. There will be a substantial capital gains tax on this property. How do we go about transferring ownership without a realtor? When and how will this capital gains tax be due?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 5, 2019

Your parents might incur a gift tax for the amount of the gift over $60,000 ($15,000 x2 recipients x 2 grantors), but it is not likely because together they have an approximately $22 million lifetime exemption.

The two of you (gift recipients) will inherit your parents' basis in the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Estate Planning and Identity Theft for Texas on
Q: How to get Fidelity 401k to unlock my account.

I have had id theft issues for years. Recently this affected my 401k my account was locked due to thief tried to access account and changed email address. They said they needed to verify my identity and so I sent them copies of dl, ssn and also sent them several police reports that I have... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 3, 2019

Roll that account over to an IRA with a different custodian. The new custodian will help you get it rolled over. Fees might be higher but at least you will get access to your funds. Before you withdraw from it make sure you understand the tax implications.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: can i remove my brother as executor of my moms estate
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 30, 2019

If your mother named your brother and the court appointed him, only the court can remove him. You can petition the court to remove him if he has not produced an accounting within 60 days following your demand after 15 months or if he has not distributed the estate after two years or if you have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: CAN I TAKE THE EXECUTER OF ESTATE AWAY FROM HIM? HOW DO I DO IT. CAN THEY SELL HOUSE WITHOUT MY PERMISSION?

IN FEB. OF 2016 MY MOTHER ASKED ME TO COME STAY WITH HER TO HELP CARE FOR MY STEPDAD WHO WAS ON HOSPICE AND HAD ONLY A FEW WEEKS LEFT TO LIVE .MY 4 BROTHERS ALSO AGREED..SHORTLY AFTER MY STEPDAD DIED MY MOTHER WAS ALSO DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER SO SHE ASKED ME TO MOVE IN INDEFINETLY. SO I PACKED UP... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Oct 30, 2019

One can't just make themselves Executor of an estate without actually going to Court and asking the Court's permission to do so. If there has been no petition to the Court then that is where everything starts.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: How to file to become an executor over a very small estate.
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 28, 2019

Depending on what is in the estate and on your relationship to the deceased, you and all the other heirs may be able to file an Affidavit of Small Estate. When people try to do these without a lawyer, about half are denied. There are some detailed, perhaps rather persnickety, requirements. Hire... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Is there a law stating utilities have to be maintained with an estate in probate

I am the administrator of estate and funds are running low house has been on market since November 2017

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 23, 2019

How unfortunate! While an executor is required to preserve the estate, you cannot pay what you do not have. Maybe you can revisit the situation with the realtor to determine what can be done to sell the house.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: tow do I know my child is getting what is rightfully his? I don't trust them one bit what do I need to do

My mother in law passed and I was told she had no will. So her home selling would be split between the grand kids. The family wants me to have these papers notarized but I don't know what they are ? Chapter 1351 of the texas estate code. But it looks like my husband name is on the top as soul... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 17, 2019

We don't know what those papers are either, without seeing them, and we don't want to guess. Your best bet is to take them to a local probate attorney for advice.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: my husband got a divorce and won his house in a divorce decree before we got married he never changed the deed he passed

the ex wife passed he had a notarized will leaving everything to me would his kids be abled to be entitled because her name is on the deed

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Oct 15, 2019

A certified copy of his divorce decree must be filed in the county deed records and his will needs to go through probate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: How can I get the property transferred into my name without a will or going through probate?

In 2017 both of my parents passed away, my mother owned a portion of the 2 acres located in Texas where she lived until her death, while my uncle in California owned the rest. After the passing of my mother, the entirety of the estate went to my uncle, (Still under his name) couple of months later... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Oct 15, 2019

If all heirs agree then there is a way to do it without it going to probate; however, it requires a great deal of detail and I suggest hiring a lawyer to help you.

Whether or not anything was probated in CA will also be important. Again, it's best to consult directly with a lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Does Texas accept a legally transcribed Declaration if Heirship from Puerto Rico?

They died intestste11 months apart in Puerto Rico. They had assets un Texas. Money in bank accounts, CD's, my mother's spousal IRA that matured the year she died, stocks with the same company as the IRA, and oil/gas rights.

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Oct 14, 2019

Short answer is yes it can be done; however, it has to meet certain criteria and there must be certain steps taken to actually authenticate everything for Texas. I suggest you speak with a probate attorney in Texas.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My mom died without a will. Are the jewelries will be part of the estate?

Our stepfather doesn't want to give the jewelries from my mother. Before she died she told him that it belongs to her children, we have witnesses. Most of them were bought when she was still single (not married to him) and some are from my grandmother. What action should we do? He doesn't even want... Read more »

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott answered on Oct 11, 2019

Contact a probate lawyer for further guidance and do not wait too long to do so.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Energy, Oil and Gas and Probate for Texas on
Q: My father passed away intestate (no will), he owned his home, am I responsible for paying his utility bills?

Are his children responsible for paying the light, water, and gas bill? We plan to sell the home once cleaned, but no one is living in the home since his passing.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 11, 2019

After the Court appoints an administrator, giving that person authority over your father's property, that person is responsible for maintaining the estate.

Meanwhile, you and your siblings may want to keep the utilities on in order to maintain the property in good shape. That should bring...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My father passed away intestate, but he left my name as beneficiary on his bank account. What are my responsibilities?

Am I required to disclose the amount to anyone? Do I have to split it with anyone? Am I supposed to use it to pay his bills? He did have life insurance with another relative listed as the beneficiary. He also owned his home and his vehicles. I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 9, 2019

If the account was pay on death to you or joint with right of survivorship in you, the money is yours on presentation of a death certificate and identification.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: I want to set up a trust for my Grandson and make my Sister the administrator for his well being and not my Son.
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 5, 2019

An estate planning attorney can help you accomplish that.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My father was married to my Step-mom for over 40 years.....he has died recently but home deed was never in his name.

Do we children from him have any rights as heirs to home at all?

Rahlita D. Thornton
Rahlita D. Thornton answered on Oct 3, 2019

If the home was purchased by wife before they got married you have no rights to the real property.

5 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Does a deed need to be in parent's name in order to be considered an heir to property?

Parent died and spouse still living but the house deed was never put in his name.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 3, 2019

Yes. The deed is not just some piece of paper but the official record of who owns the property.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My mom died without a will. Are the jewelries will be part of the estate?

Our stepfather doesn't want to give the jewelries from my mother. Before she died she told him that it belongs to her children. Most of them were bought when she was still single (not married to him) and some are from my grandmother. What action should we do? He doesn't even want to show us the... Read more »

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett answered on Oct 3, 2019

Everything she owned is part of her estate. Personal property which she bought before the marriage is her separate property, a share of which passes to her children from a previous marriage.

Any heir can probate the estate. Hire a local probate lawyer.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Is moms will valid from 1983, I found yesterday, if she died in 2016? Will it be honored?

I'm the only beneficiary for mom.when she died we didnt k ow she had a will so my stepdad became the beneficiary. He gave me a choice to sell or move into my home now which belonged to mom. Theres a note in his name and I'm supposed to be paying this but due to financial strain he has been and is... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 29, 2019

A will does not become stale or invalid with the passage of time. Find yourself a local probate attorney right away. If no probate was ever begun in the past, it might not be too late to right these wrongs. Probate fees are usually paid out of the probate estate.

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