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Probate Administration Probate Law Blog

Probate Settlements Are Binding Under Texas Law


Settlement agreements entered into during the probate process are generally binding. But what happens when one party enters into an agreement and later changes their mind? Can they get out of the settlement agreement? The court recently addressed this in Estate of Riefler, No. 07-16-00375-CV (Tex. App.–Amarillo 2017).

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Probate Law Blog Probate Litigation

Probate Does Not Extend Time for Contesting a Valid Property Transfer


Imagine you are appointed as the executor for a family member or loved one and, as part of the probate process, you discover that the decedent transferred their primary asset to another party during their lifetime. Also imagine that they did so when they were of sound mind and it appears that they did so […]

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Probate Administration Probate Law Blog

Court Says Widow’s Allowance Paid out of Community Property Estate


The probate process can present a number of challenges for surviving spouses. These challenges can include figuring out how to pay personal expenses when the primary liquid assets are tied up in probate. Texas law allows for a widow’s allowance to cover these expenses. The court in Estate of Nielsen, No. 06-17-00055-CV (Tex. App.–Texarakana 2017) […]

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Probate Law Blog Probate Litigation

A Contract for Will is Only Valid in Texas if it is in Writing


It may be convenient to have another party hold property with the intent that the property revert back to the owner when the holder dies. One way to accomplish this is to sell property to the other party and contract with that party to name the owner as the beneficiary of the property in his […]

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Probate Administration Probate Law Blog

Information to Locate for Probate


When someone dies, their heirs and other interested parties have to piece together the information needed to probate the estate.  There are a number of documents and information to locate, including information about:

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Estate Planning Probate Law Blog

Can a Minor Child Open a Bank Account in Texas?


There are times when a minor or child needs to open a checking or savings account.  This begs the question, can a child legally open a bank account?  Texas law addresses this. Minority Laws in Texas Generally In Texas, an individual is a minor if they are younger than 18 years of age. The law […]

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Estate Planning Probate Law Blog

Example of Why a Will Needs to be Updated After Divorce


The Haga v. Thomas, No. 01–12–00218–CV (Tex. App.–Houston (1st Dist.) 2013) case provides an example of why wills need to be updated after divorce.  While Texas law provides a remedy for when a will names a former spouse as executor and beneficiary, as demonstrated in the court case, the remedy does not always apply.

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Probate Law Blog Probate Litigation

Top 8 Grounds for Contesting a Will in Texas


Texas wills are frequently challenged in court.  This often happens when one or more heirs feels that there was some wrongdoing or error that caused them to receive less than their fair share.  There are a number of grounds for challenging a will in Texas.  Here are the top 8 grounds for challenging a Texas […]