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Probate Administration Probate Law Blog

Can a Dead Person Sue You?


If someone dies, does Texas law allow the dead person to sue you? The answer is not as clear cut as one would think. The court addresses this in Balderaz v. Martin, No. 13-18-00056-CV (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 2019).

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Probate Administration Probate Law Blog

Recovering Attorney Fees in a Probate Case


One of the issues that often comes up in probate cases is whether the parties can recoup their attorneys fees from the estate. The answer is usually yes, but there are rules involved. The Estate of Pharris, No. 10-17-00260-CV (Ct. App.–Waco 2019), case provides an opportunity to consider these rules. Facts & Procedural History This […]

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Guardianship Probate Law Blog

Appointment of Temporary Guardian Not Immediately Appealable


In probate and guardianship cases, the parties can appeal most court orders immediately. But what about the appointment of a temporary guardian? If you do not agree with the appointment, can you immediately appeal the probate court’s decision? The court addresses this in In Re Guardianship of Laverne T. Cady, No. 04-19-00588-CV (Ct. App. — […]

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Probate Law Blog Probate Litigation

Disputing Probate Court’s Family Settlement Agreement


Probate disputes are often resolved using family settlement agreements. These agreements can avoid the costs and delays of full will contests. But they can also lead to additional disputes. The Locasico v. Mongrain, No. 07-18-00280-CV (Tex. App.–7th Dist. 2019) case provides an example of a dispute involving a family settlement agreement in probate court. Facts […]

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Probate Law Blog Probate Litigation

Can an Executor Who is Removed be Reappointed?


Texas probate courts have broad powers that can be used to protect estates. This includes the power to remove the executor for the estate. But what if the executor did not want to be removed? What remedies do they have? The Estate of Skima, No. 05-18-01288-CV (Ct. App.–5th Dist [Dallas]), case provides an opportunity to […]

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Probate Administration Probate Law Blog

Time for Probating an Intestate Estate in Texas


There are special rules that are involved when a Texas resident dies without a will. One set of rules involves heirship proceedings. This is a legal term that refers to the process of identifying who is entitled to inherit from someone who died without a will. Heirship proceedings are often filed several years after the […]

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Probate Law Blog Probate Litigation

Probate Disputes Involving Invalid Real Estate Transfers


Probate disputes often involve wills that intentionally omit or fail to provide for one or more children. The probate courts provide a forum for resolving these disputes. But the omitted children may not want to deal with the probate process. For example, they may just file deeds to transfer the decedent’s real estate to themselves […]

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Probate Law Blog Probate Litigation

Texas Probate: Liability for Failing to Make Distribution


The person who serves as the personal representative in a Texas probate can be personally liable for certain actions or omissions. This is why many personal representatives opt for a dependent administration. But the personal representative can even be personally liable in a dependent administration. The recent Estate of Brazda, No. 01-18-00324-CV (Tex. App. [Houston […]

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Estate Planning Probate Law Blog

Can a Letter be Treated as a Handwritten Will in Texas?


Can a handwritten letter that names an executor and does little else count as a valid will in Texas? The court addresses this in Estate of Silverman, No. 14-18-00256-CV (Tex. App.–Houston [14th Dist.] 2019).

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Guardianship Probate Law Blog

Guardianship Applications and Personal Service


If a party enters an appearance in a guardianship proceeding, do they still have to be personally served with a new application that is filed in the same case? Texas law requires service when a guardianship application is filed, but is this necessary when the party is already entered an appearance? The court addresses this […]