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Probate Administration Probate Law Blog

Who is an Interested Party in a Texas Probate?


One generally has to be an “interested party” to participate in the probate process in Texas. If an interested party in an estate is distributed property in full satisfaction of their interest, are they no longer an interested party? The court addresses this in Estate of Daniels, No. 06-18-00049-CV (Tex. App.–Texarkana 2019).

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Probate Law Blog Probate Litigation

Appointing a Receiver to Sell Jointly Owned Property


When co-owners of property are at odds over the property, it may be necessary to have a court appoint a receiver to manage and/or sell the property. This remedy isn’t always available, as evidenced by the In re Estate of Martinez, No. 01-18-00217-CV (Tex. Ct. App.–Houston 2019) case.

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Probate Law Blog Probate Litigation

Challenging Probate Court’s Order to Settle Lawsuits


If a probate court appoints a temporary administrator and approves a settlement for outstanding lawsuits against the estate, heirs with an interest in the estate may have limited options for challenging the decision to settle the lawsuit. The Chabot v. Estate of Sullivan, No. 03-17-00865-CV (Tex. App.-3d Dist [Austin] – 2019), case provides an example.

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Estate Planning Probate Law Blog

Planning for Special Needs Trusts


Special needs trusts can provided additional resources for disabled minors and adults.  Special care has to be taken in planning for these trusts.  The recent Estate of Mendard, No. 14-18-00434-CV (Tex. App. — Houston [14th Dist.] 2019) provides an example.  It involves a special needs trust that ended up owning a house that the disabled beneficiary’s […]

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Probate Law Blog Probate Litigation

Voiding a Common Law Marriage After Death


Will contest suits often involve children whose inheritance is being claimed by a third party who asserts to be common law married to the childrens dead parent.  This raises questions as to whether the new spouse is entitled to all or some of the decedent’s assets.  The recent Estate of Durrell, No. 13-17-00431-CV (Tex. App. – Corpus […]

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Estate Planning Probate Law Blog

What if You Cannot Talk or Sign a Will?


What if You Cannot Talk or Sign a Will? Generally, for a will to be valid, one has to communicate their wishes in a will and the will has to be signed.  This begs the question as to how someone who cannot speak or sign a will can execute a valid will.  The court addressed this […]

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Estate Planning Probate Law Blog

Common Estate Planning Goals


Common Estate Planning Goals Estate planning is about you, the person who is alive and in control of property, and those who will eventually control and/or receive your property.  It is about your wishes and what will happen in the future. Having worked with clients to develop estate plans, there are some common basic goals […]

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Probate Administration Probate Law Blog

Filing Inventory in Texas Probate


Filing Inventory in Texas Within 90 days after qualification, the personal representative must file with the Court a sworn inventory, appraisement and list of claims (“Inventory”) of the estate.  The Inventory must include all estate real property located in Texas and all estate personal property regardless of where the property is located. And it must […]

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Probate Administration Probate Law Blog

Independent Administration in Texas


What is an independent administration? An independent administration is a non-court administration.  After a person has applied for letters testamentary and been qualified as independent executor by the court, the executor files an inventory of the estate’s assets and their appraised value, and a list of claims of the estate. Thereafter, the executor administers the estate […]

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Probate Administration Probate Law Blog

Letters Testamentary and Letters of Administration in Texas


About Letters Testamentary in Texas After a person passes away and leaves behind property to be administered, one of the first steps is for a personal representative to apply to the probate court for letters testamentary or letters of administration.