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Texas Probate Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My mother passed away in Aug 2021 without a will. I have brother from same mother and father, also my stepfather.

My mother had land given to her by her parents with the deed in her name. She was given this this land before she married my stepfather. She lived on property with my stepfather who still lives there, which is fine. I just want to make sure we get done what need be as far as deed transfer and also... Read more »

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
answered on Feb 7, 2023

You should definitely meet with a lawyer with probate experience. Since your mother received the property by inheritance, it is considered separate property. However, the legal presumption is that all property acquired during a marriage is community property. This distinction impacts the shares... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Texas situation mother deceased October 2022, she has Trust handled by attorney in SA. Cannot find her Will. What to do?
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Feb 5, 2023

If you cannot locate your mother’s will, you can probate her estate intestate (as if she doesn’t have a will).

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Texas situation mother deceased October 2022, she has Trust handled by attorney in SA. Cannot find her Will. What to do?
Alisha Melvin
Alisha Melvin
answered on Feb 5, 2023

Sorry to hear about your mothers passing. If she had a trust created then she can typically bypass the probate process. Verify that the trust has been funded properly and properly executed. Oftentimes, trusts will be drafted together with a pourover will. So you can probate that pourover will... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Technically, does the prosecution still need to prove guilt if a person takes a plea?

If a plea deal is entered to by a defending party for whatever reason, even though the person may be innocent, does the prosecution still need to prove guilt or does an admission automatically situates his/her guilt?

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Feb 1, 2023

In most cases, an admission of guilt is sufficient. In some cases, corroborating evidence is necessary.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Can an executor of a will change it after the person dies in Texas...

My mothers will made my step father the executor and then it was to be split equally between me and my step sister. After she died he changed the will without my knowledge and totally left me out giving it all to my step sister...not honoring her wishes

Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
answered on Jan 31, 2023

Absolutely NOT. Only your mother had the power to change her will. There's no such thing as a will being changed by someone else. You should definitely get a probate attorney to represent you, because your stepfather is up to some shenanigans if he thinks he can change a will after your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My mom has separate and community property, where would her medical debt be paid out from.

She was married for 4 years but at here job for 17 years 13 years is separate property and the other 4 was community but during the last year she accumulated medical bills so I’m trying to see if her husband would have to pay from his community property or it would come out both community and... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 31, 2023

Up to $15,000 of funeral expenses and up to an additional $15,000 of medical expenses associated with your mom’s final illness must be paid out of your mom’s estate as a priority claim before any other debts or expenses are paid.

If you paid funeral expenses out of pocket, you need to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Is a executor of a will, supposed to show the heirs the paper work where they got the deceased house and land appraised
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 29, 2023

An executor of a will is not required to get a formal appraisal or to show the appraisal to the heirs. However, if the executor files an Inventory, Appraisement & List of Claims with the probate court, it is a public document which the heirs could easily obtain a copy of.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Texas on
Q: Parent recently died, and parent's apartment needs to be vacated. Leasing office is not responding.

Deceased parent did not leave a will. Leasing office allowed non-residents to change the locks and remove items from the apartment while ignoring the parent's adult child.

Russell Aldrich
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Russell Aldrich
answered on Jan 26, 2023

First off,I'm terribly sorry for your loss.

I'd need more information to be able to answer your question more fully; however, as a general rule no one is entitled to possession of a decedent's personal property until an executor or an administrator is appointed for his or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My husband recently died, he has a will, and I am Independent Executor.The house and bank account are joint

He was a vet and I filled out apps for death benefits. He does have a credit card with 4000.00 balance and medical bills are coming in. Do I need to see a probate attorney?

Penny Wymyczak-White
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Penny Wymyczak-White
answered on Jan 8, 2023

You need to get the house in just your name. Probate the will and transfer his interest of the house to yiu

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Probate for Texas on
Q: My question is in regards to a tort matter. My legal issue is prohibited by restrictions imposed by federal government.

I could not get the legal help needed, I’m indigent and I cannot afford an attorney what can I do?

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 8, 2023

There are a number of pro bono legal clinic scattered across Texas for litigants who are genuinely indigent. I’d start there.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: No assets left to estate should a will even be probated?

My father in law passed away 2 years ago. The executor of his estate never filed the will into probate. The only assets left by him were a car and house. Car was repossessed and the house sold in foreclosure auction and there are excess funds. Is there any reason at this point to bother with... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jan 3, 2023

The main purpose of probate is to transfer assets that are still in the name of a deceased person. If there are no such assets, not much purpose would be served by opening a probate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Hello, My question regards sale of land in Texas. I am one of 5 heirs to a very small tract of land.

I verbally agreed to sell my interest but didn't sign a sales contract. The realtor handling the deal had a sales contract that only had one party's name & signature as seller (not my name). The only info I had prior to closing was the sale price, that the proceeds would be split... Read more »

John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr.
answered on Dec 31, 2022

You need an attorney to handle this for you. The good news is that it should be easy to draft an agreement or release for the buyer to get their money back that protects you. However, I would need to see everything you previously signed, and anything presently offered for your signature.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: My probation is in Galveston. My son and I are having to move out due to domestic violence. All shelters are full here.

The only shelters with space are out of the county. I don't want to violate my probation. What can I do to stay in compliance?

Penny Wymyczak-White
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Penny Wymyczak-White
answered on Dec 19, 2022

Call your probation officer and ask for a travel permit to Harris County, Have a lawyer get you permission to live in Harris county,

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: Do debts need to be paid before assets are distributed?

My father-in-law passed away this week in Texas, he had virtually no assets (lived in an apartment, had a car loan) and a lot of debt from credit cards, medical expenses. There is no will, and my husband was named executor in the POA. There is a very small amount of money in the bank, and the car... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Dec 8, 2022

A POA does not appoint an executor. Only a will does.

A POA becomes null and void when the maker dies.

When your father-in-law’s estate is probated, the personal representative must use available assets to pay debts in a specific order set by statute. First in priority is the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: My mother passed away left her house to me and my sister equally how does the probate on it work
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
answered on Dec 1, 2022

If your mother had a Will, then that will goes through probate court. You'll want to have a probate attorney help you, and it may even actually be required. Anyway, find a probate attorney that focuses on probate law in your area, because they tend to do the best job for the best prices.

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3 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: I am preparing a TODD and my deceased husband's former wife's name is still on the deed. I am asked to sign name on deed

The instructions say to sign name exactly as appears on deed. My husband and his wife were divorced many years ago and he got the house; he left the house to me, but the only proof that it was his is the divorce papers. How should I sign the TODD?

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Nov 29, 2022

The prior chain of title involving your deceased husband and his former wife is irrelevant to how you need to sign your TODD to ensure that the property passes outside of probate in the event of your death.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Can my mother sue my fathers ex for my fathers ira , he has died in Texas

My father divorced my mother and she gave him everything including IRA, he has died in Texas and my mother did not know he was having an affair and married a woman , can my mother sue her fir the IRA

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Nov 18, 2022

Your mother has no claim against the IRA, but you might have a claim to the money.

First, you need to determine if the IRA has a "pay on death" endorsement or beneficiary designation and, if so, who is named. If your father named someone, whomever he named is entitled to the IRA....
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Texas on
Q: The court has made me a dependent administrator. HOW DO I DIVIDE OR SELL AND DISTRIBUTE THE PROPERTY?

The court has made me a dependent administrator. HOW DO I DIVIDE OR SELL AND DISTRIBUTE THE PROPERTY?

I am one of five heirs ( siblings) and we do not get along and do not agree on anything. There is no money in the bank. In the inventory, my best estimate of the value of... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Nov 11, 2022

You can hold an auction. You can list everything on EBay. But, as a dependent administrator, you will need to secure the court's permission first.

If an heir thinks the highest bid you receive is too low, they can bid at the auction or on EBay.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: My mother is battling cancer and her memory is not so well. I am her daughter and I have guardianship durable POA.

There is a family battle for Durable Power of Attorney, Guardianship and Executor. I am primary on all things as of this moment but my mothers mind and memory is getting worse by the week so other family members have stated that if they get her alone then they will have her sign and have notarized... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Nov 7, 2022

Given your mother's deteriorating condition and the threat of other family members to have her sign another POA, your best course of action is probably to petition a probate court for temporary or permanent guardianship of your mother.

That will probably be less expensive and more...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: My mother and brother are both disabled and live together in Texas. Mother is very I'll and we are trying to plan

There is a mortgage on the home and both are on it but my mother wants to leave her half of the interest and equity to me. Is this possible with a mortgage debt still on the home?

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Nov 7, 2022

Yes, your mother can leave her half to you even if the home has a mortgage on it. If she does that, then after she passes you and your brother will need to keep making the mortgage payments on the house lest the bank foreclose. In the end, you and your brother will probably end up selling the... Read more »

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