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Texas Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Probate question. My home was put as seperate prop instead of comm prop and now at risk for foreclosure. How can I fix?
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Feb 21, 2024

The best and fastest way to prevent a foreclosure is to pay off the debt which is secured by the home. Whether the home is your separate property or community property shouldn't significantly impact the foreclosure process. If you can't pay off the debt entirely, contact the lender and... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Does title company have right to ask for social security # and copy of deceased spouse & my will re land offer?

Land purchased by me in Texas as minor many years ago; my mother was on original document. I added my husband after our marriage 10 yrs later. Land was part of southwest scheme to take $ from people, never thought we'd be able to sell. My husband is deceased. I am ORIGINAL owner of this land.... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Feb 19, 2024

The SSN will get a reported capital gain to the IRS. The other items requested have to do with proving your source of title. If you do not wish to comply with them, ask for another title company or title insurance company to handle your transaction. Your potential will has no bearing on this... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: Does title company have right to ask for social security # and copy of deceased spouse & my will re land offer?

Land purchased by me in Texas as minor many years ago; my mother was on original document. I added my husband after our marriage 10 yrs later. Land was part of southwest scheme to take $ from people, never thought we'd be able to sell. My husband is deceased. I am ORIGINAL owner of this land.... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Feb 19, 2024

If the title company is acting as the closing agent for the sale, it generally must report information concerning the sale on a Form 1099-S. That is why it is asking for your SSN. It is highly unlikely that a reputable title company will close the transaction without having the SSN for reporting... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Request for Earnest Money Refund Options

I signed a contract to purchase a new house in Liberty Hill and paid earnest money along with an upgrade amount. Around the same time, I also bought a second home in Georgetown with the intention of making it my primary residence. However, I didn't end up moving into the Georgetown property as... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Feb 16, 2024

While it depends on the particular contract, most earnest money contracts for a house with a financing contingency (which is common) provide that the earnest money will be refunded to the buyer if the financing contingency isn't met. Typically, the Buyer only has the obligation to apply for a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: I have a deed to my property and a small city says it is theirs for a proposed road. Has been blocked off for 20 years

Who has burdon of proof me or the city

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Feb 5, 2024

The plaintiff in any lawsuit will have the burden of proof. So it depends on whether you or the City is the plaintiff in any subsequent litigation.

Rights of way for existing or proposed roads may or may not be indicated on a deed itself. A typical Warranty Deed explicitly says:...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Would it be possible to ever change my deceased mothers property to my name if she had no will.

My deceased mothers property is just sitting there and I've been paying her back taxes. When she was alive she stated she wanted to leave one lot and the trailer that's sitting on it to me and the other one with a trailer to my niece. I have 2 brothers and one sister I don't think... View More

John Cucci Jr.
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answered on Feb 4, 2024

Yes. To get it in your name exclusively, or exactly as your mom stated, you can have papers drawn up, including an Affidavit of Heirship, and agreements between your two brothers and your sister. If they all agree, you can have the property transferred as you stated. If they will not agree, you... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Selling an inherited home in Puerto Rico. Can my travel expenses be deducted when proceeds be distributed?

We do not live in Puerto Rico. I have traveled to PR 4 times in order to get the house ready for sale and also initiated and paid for all documents required starting with the “Declaratoria de Herederos”, appraisal, cleaning and other services to keep the house in good shape. Inclusive paying... View More

John Cucci Jr.
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answered on Feb 1, 2024

If the property is being sold through an Estate that is in court, allthe expenses to manage the property and in preparation for it's sale, can and should be accounted, and figured into the distribution to heirs.

If you do not have an attorney on the Estate case, you should get...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: If I wrote and signed a piece of paper giving my brother full rights to my home 5 years ago could I evict and reclaim it

I inherited it from my father who was his stepfather. I was not in a good mental state at all when I decided to just give it to him as living in the home was too hard and overwhelming for me. That piece of paper is the only thing I ever signed regarding the ownership of the home. My brother has... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 30, 2024

It depends on the piece of paper and what it says. It may also depend on whether you can prove you were mentally incapacitated. Being "emotional," or "sad," or "overwhelmed" may not be sufficient to prove you lacked the mental capacity to transfer ownership of the... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: If you paid taxes Can someone take your property if you abandoned it for year and haven't maintained your property?

I have always paid taxes but I live out of town so my son's wife who owns the lot next to my property cuts the grass like it's hers. Can she take it away and claim i abandoned it?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 30, 2024

In Texas, simply paying property taxes on your land does not automatically protect it from claims of adverse possession, especially if you have abandoned the property and have not maintained it. Adverse possession, commonly known as "squatter’s rights," allows someone to claim ownership... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: If you paid taxes Can someone take your property if you abandoned it for year and haven't maintained your property?

I have always paid taxes but I live out of town so my son's wife who owns the lot next to my property cuts the grass like it's hers. Can she take it away and claim i abandoned it?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 30, 2024

No, someone cannot legally take your property or claim you abandoned it simply because you have been absent or failed to maintain it. As long as you continue paying property taxes and possess valid title, ownership and rights remain legally yours regardless of occupancy, use or condition.... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Probate and Elder Law for Texas on
Q: I’m the POA and guardian of my grandfather and his estate. He sold it a month before death for 10 dollars. Is it legal?

I have been the POA and guardian for nearly 10 years. Right before his death other family members blocked my phone calls to him. I was not notified of his death and a month afterwards I found his obituary. When I went to the county records office I was notified he had sold his property a month... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 29, 2024

If you have been the guardian of your grandfather and his estate for that long, the court that appointed you 10 years ago must have determined that your grandfather was incapacitated and that a guardianship is necessary. Your grandfather's incapacity probably provides a valid basis to set... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas on
Q: I need an attorney that's familiar with Texas ladybird deeds. Any recommendations? Time is off the essence.

We are being sued in probate court for a property that was left to us through a ladybird deed. We desperately need an attorney that understands the difference between a ladybird deed and a transfer on death deed.

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 29, 2024

A TODD and a "ladybird" deed are very similar with three important differences. 1) A TODD does not provide a warranty of title, whereas a labybird can; 2) a TODD can only be signed by the actual owner and not by an agent acting under a POA; and 3) only the owner can retain a life estate... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: I had my corporation stolen with a forged signature. Need advice on what to do to take the next step.

I am reaching out because I need legal assistance for a real estate fraud case.

I am not sure what my options are at this point, or how to proceed legally. Based on the information I have, I believe that a forged signature was used during the process, and the corporation was stolen. I am... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 29, 2024

Unfortunately, real estate fraud cases seem to be increasing in Texas, although there have been some recent legislative changes to try to make it harder. Stealing a corporation through the use of a forged signature is pretty hard to hide from the actual owner of the corporation with annual... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: I had my corporation stolen with a forged signature. Need advice on what to do to take the next step.

I am reaching out because I need legal assistance for a real estate fraud case.

I am not sure what my options are at this point, or how to proceed legally. Based on the information I have, I believe that a forged signature was used during the process, and the corporation was stolen. I am... View More

John Cucci Jr.
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answered on Jan 28, 2024

You need to act fast!

You can do a lot of damage control and undue any fraud if you move fast. It will require court intervention and may end up needing some police involvement. However, police are not needed. The court is needed.

See a lawyer ASAP. Gather all of your corporate...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Property is in husbands name only. If he passes with no will, does everything just come to me? Or do I need to be added?

Home, land & vehicles are only in my husbands name. Neither of us have a will. So if he should pass away, does everything come to me or does he need to add me to the property and house deeds? We have concerns about this due to me never being on the deeds. We also need to make wills soon. We are... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 26, 2024

Without a will, 1/3 of your husband's separate property will pass to you and 2/3 of your husband's separate property will pass to your children. As long as all of his children are your children, you will get the community property. If not, you will still own an undivided 50% of the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Texas on
Q: Property is in husbands name only. If he passes with no will, does everything just come to me? Or do I need to be added?

Home, land & vehicles are only in my husbands name. Neither of us have a will. So if he should pass away, does everything come to me or does he need to add me to the property and house deeds? We have concerns about this due to me never being on the deeds. We also need to make wills soon. We are... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 26, 2024

Without a will, 1/3 of your husband's separate property will pass to you and 2/3 of your husband's separate property will pass to your children. As long as all of his children are your children, you will get the community property. If not, you will still own an undivided 50% of the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Texas on
Q: What happens next?

Gave my sibling power of attorney of my home to take care of my parents while I was gone but essentially he moved it into his name and stole my house. What happens next and what can be done about this

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 22, 2024

You can sue your sibling for abusing the power of attorney you gave him. As your attorney-in-fact, your sibling owed you fiduciary duties. While the POA protects third parties who relied upon it from claims by you based on their dealings with your sibling pursuant to the POA, it provides no... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Can the property mgmt co employed by the HOA, be responsible for the election ballots for HOS Board
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 19, 2024

In Texas, the responsibility for managing election ballots for a Homeowners Association (HOA) Board typically lies with the HOA itself, rather than the property management company employed by the HOA. The election process is governed by the HOA's bylaws and state law. These bylaws often... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: how do I file a quit claim deed to transfer property to a relative ? will that transfer be considered in the "look back"

Have been recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and am indigent except for 1/9 ownership in a property in MA. and want to put in a "quit claim" deed transfer to prevent that from being sucked into the medical payment stuff.

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Jan 18, 2024

The transfer would probably be subject to being executed on by the government agency. But land in another State would probably not be looked at. The lien is usually filed in the County of the owner with medical problems. Get your relative to hire an attorney to handle the transfer.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Does offering a loan to buyer, based on agent's commission, & forgiving the loan for successful referrals, violate RESPA

I have a question regarding real estate law in Texas. If a buyer agent offer 100% of the buyer agent's commission to the buyer at closing as a loan and the buyer needs to pay back the loan over the terms of the mortgage (30 years). Subsequently, if the buyer makes 1 referral who successfully... View More

John Cucci Jr.
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answered on Jan 17, 2024

Real Estate Agents/Brokers, can NOT share any part of a RE sales commission with someone who is not also licensed to sell RE. What's more, the new sale, and those involved would ALL have to receive Notice of the parsing-out of any sales commission. So it is unlawful for at least two (2)... View More

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