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Texas Estate Planning Questions & Answers
4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: How do I make sure my wife gets everything if I die? I want no claims for previous kids

I live in Texas

Beth Ann Serafini-Smith
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Beth Ann Serafini-Smith
answered on Jun 18, 2024

In order for your assets to go to a specific person, you need a valid Texas Will to handle your probate assets, or you need to name that person as the beneficiary on the assets/accounts for non-probate assets.

Failure to do do either of those may give others a right to those assets, or...
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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: How do I make sure my wife gets everything if I die? I want no claims for previous kids

I live in Texas

Ronald Lee Baranski Jr
Ronald Lee Baranski Jr
answered on Jun 18, 2024

The easiest way to make sure everything goes to your wife is to provide for her in a Will that complies with all formalities required in TX. Generally, you need two witnessed that are in your presence when you sign your Will declaring to them its your Will and you are requesting them to witness you... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: How do I make sure my wife gets everything if I die? I want no claims for previous kids

I live in Texas

Gratia "Grace" P. Schoemakers
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answered on Jun 19, 2024

Making a Will or a trust with your wife as only person to inherit would be a good start. Then like my colleague say, ensuring that your beneficiary designations are up to date, as well as any POD designations on accounts, and if applicable transfer on death designations on your home and... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Common law spouse died. We have 2 kids,1 minor. We share NO finances. Am I obligated to his debt? Can I claim spouse SS?
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jun 18, 2024

As a general rule, a spouse is not liable for a debt incurred by the other spouse unless the debt was incurred for "necessaries" (e.g. food, clothing, shelter) or the spouse was acting as an agent for the other spouse. Obviously, if you had jointly signed on a debt or filed a joint tax... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My mother died in Tx and her executrix, my sister, lives in Ca. I live in Tx. How do we change me to the executor?

Mother's only property is checking and savings account in California and a checking account in Texas. My sister and I are a co-owners of the California account and I'm the principal owner of the Texas account. Total value is under $70,000.

Ronald Lee Baranski Jr
Ronald Lee Baranski Jr
answered on Jun 18, 2024

I notice you refer to your sister as executrix. Is this based on the writing of the Will or did you go through probate? A Will has no legal effect until it has been deemed to comply with all the laws of the state, typically by going through probate. If your sister was appointed by a probate court... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Probate, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Probate in TX has an expiration of 4 years. Does that include entire process from start to finish legally?

My Brother's (ages 18 & 26) Father died in May 2021. The home is paid off, but everything is in their deceased Father's name. Vehicles, Property,Bills etc... my brother was told he needs to get Probate taken care of in order to have everything transfered in his name. What are the... View More

John Cucci Jr.
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answered on Jun 5, 2024

There are some issues that need to be addressed. There is a 3 year time limit on filing for a Probate or Administration for an Estate in TX.

Since there was NO WILL, there MUST be an Administration filed to establish an Estate and to administer the same. An Administration is filed when...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Ok my grandmother passed away in 2015 and there was a joint wheel that was put in place in 1973 can my aunt over power i

There was a will put in place in 1973 my grandmother passed away in 2015 the probate was never challenged and my father passed away in 2019 my grandmother only had two children did my aunt having power of attorney give her the ability to override the wheel?

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jun 3, 2024

A power of attorney ends when the principle who signed the power of attorney dies. A will does not go into effect until it is probated and a will can only be probated after the individual who signed it dies. So the attorney-in-fact named in a power of attorney cannot override a will.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: am I eligible for medicaid in texas with eligible SS income and resources, but also a testamentary trust ?

My SS retirement income and personal resources make me eligible, but there's also a 30 year old, irrevocable, testamentary, spendthrift trust from my father in which I am the beneficiary, and the trustee has full discretion regarding any disbursements .

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on May 28, 2024

As a general rule, the Social Security Administration takes the position that if a trust beneficiary does not have the legal authority to revoke or terminate a third party trust (a trust created by neither the beneficiary nor the beneficiary's spouse) or to direct the use of the trust assets... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: What is my duty for determining if my half-sister inherits the mausoleum I just discovered my dad bought long ago?

My dad bought a mausoleum for two caskets in Virginia about 1972 for him and my mom, with my sister and me mentioned in the deed. He and my mom divorced about 1975, and he remarried a few years later, to a woman who already had a daughter. I don't know if dad had a will that included his new... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on May 20, 2024

While you have no duty to do anything, you could become guilty of theft by fraud if you sell the interest in the mausoleum and your dad left his interest to someone other than you.

You say that you and your sister are "mentioned" in the deed. If not apparent from the language...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Hello, I’m about to receive an inheritance of approximately 50,000 from my fathers estate. I am disabled and on ssi ?

How do I keep my Ssi and Medicaid ? I heard they’re is certain trust or something called a spend down, I need legal advice!

Ronald Lee Baranski Jr
Ronald Lee Baranski Jr
answered on May 10, 2024

This would be a great opportunity to set up a Supplemental Needs Trust (Special Needs Trust). If the funds go directly to the trust, your ability to receive governmental funding should not be affected. You would need to name a trustee that would handle the trust. A Supplemental Needs Trust is... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Contracts and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: When writing to companies about late husbands benefits can this just be ignored?

I wrote to Insperity Holdings about my late husband's estate and and investment account, since Insperity Holdings is the HR company for the company my husband worked for. I wrote another important person high up in the company, never have heard a word from either of them. Aren't they... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on May 6, 2024

First and foremost, file an application to probate your late husband's Will or his estate if he didn't have a Will at the time of his death.

If you are appointed as the personal representative of your deceased husband's estate (either as the executrix of his Will or as the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Contracts and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: When writing to companies about late husbands benefits can this just be ignored?

I wrote to Insperity Holdings about my late husband's estate and and investment account, since Insperity Holdings is the HR company for the company my husband worked for. I wrote another important person high up in the company, never have heard a word from either of them. Aren't they... View More

Gratia "Grace" P. Schoemakers
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answered on May 6, 2024

Without knowing the situation, it is possible the accounts had a Beneficiary designation on there that was NOT you.

If the money went to someone else, you have no right to know about this, as you are not the beneficiary.

If the accounts had no beneficiary, then you should go through...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Do I need to set up a separate bank account for a living revokable trust?

I'm setting up a living revokable trust for me and my sister - we are grantors and will be trustees (beneficiary will be a relative upon our death). The only assets funding the trust are 2 real properties (no mortgage/liens) and a few mineral rights (100% owned). Currently, 2 of the minerals... View More

Gratia "Grace" P. Schoemakers
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answered on May 6, 2024

It is unclear what you mean with "separate account." For a trust to be property funded (i.e. all assets are moved into the trust name), a trust will need to have a bank account in the trust name.

So presuming you mean "separate account" from your "personal...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Can a trustee manipulate beneficiaries of trust.before death because he didn't agree with wishes of incapacitated man?

.y friend lived with an Elderly gentleman for 2 yrs. Sheis a beneficiary in his trust. And the trustee and executor of estate took POA immediately. Came to house and took will and other stuff from house. Came back next day( mon)and bullied my friend. Telling her she was going to get a considerable... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on May 2, 2024

I think it would be very unusual for the person named as trustee in a testamentary trust not to have read the Will before the testator dies. Usually, the testator would discuss his Will and wishes with his trustee and make sure that the trustee is willing to perform those duties and will honor the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Can a temporary administrator sell community property before separate property to pay deceased person debts?
Gratia "Grace" P. Schoemakers
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answered on Apr 24, 2024

It depends on what the order says. A Temporary Administrator is a very limited appointment, the order that appoints them will say exactly what they can do. If it is not listed they can not do it.

If you have questions as to what the order means, or you believe that the order was given...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law, Estate Planning and Banking for Texas on
Q: Statues of limitations where do I send annuity checks that were written 2010?

I called Nationwide Bank to get canceled checks of my annunity checks that were cashed by someone else in June of 2010. The representative at Nationwide bank told me I had to report it to the Department of Labor, I called DOL, I was told they didn't handle this. Can anyone tell me who I can... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 21, 2024

I apologize for the confusion and difficulties you are facing regarding your annuity checks from 2010. Here are a few steps you can take to address the situation:

1. Contact the annuity provider: Reach out directly to the company that issued the annuity. They should have records of the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Is this true when a widow and late Husband has no children, everything goes to widow in Texas.

My late husband and I had no children, I was told that his employer is plan administrator, trustee, and fiduciary of my late Husband's estate. I have w2's and copies of tax statements, showing my late husband has a retirement plan, differed compensation, and a pension. According to... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Apr 10, 2024

Not entirely.

If a Husband dies without a Will and with no surviving issue (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc.), 100% of the community property in his probate estate and 50% of his separate property in his probate estate passes to his surviving widow. The remaining 50% of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Rights and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: How long is the statutes of limitation for Annunity checks?

I have 1099 forms from Nationwide about annunity checks that were supposed to have been sent to me however they had to be sent to Rockwell Automation first because of them being fiduciary. Rockwell Automation was to send them to me, one check was $43,000 dollars, and two for 15,000 dollars. However... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 6, 2024

I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you've experienced in receiving these annuity checks. The statute of limitations for cases like this can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the state in which you reside. In general, the statute of limitations for breach of contract... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: How can a surviving spouse with a Deed of Trust get a Deed of Warranty when spouse died 5 years ago?
James Tittle
James Tittle
answered on Apr 5, 2024

I am sorry to hear about the loss of your spouse. While a little more information may be needed to completely answer this question, it sounds like you might need to go through the probate process in order to transfer ownership of this property. Deeds may only be signed by a living person.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Can a company just completely keep every thing about late husband's Estate from from his Widow.

My late husbandit was killed suddenly in a horrible accident. My husbands sudden death the way he died devastated me for years. I feel as though everything have been hidden from me. I got no response from my letters or phone calls about my late husband's estate. realize it had been awhile... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 5, 2024

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband and the difficulties you've faced in dealing with his estate. It sounds like an incredibly challenging and painful situation.

To answer your question directly - no, a company cannot legally withhold all information about a...
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