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Probate Articles
11guardianship applications
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...
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11interested-party-tx-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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11joint-ownership-of-property-receiver
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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11will-contest
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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11special-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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11letters testamentary, letters of administration
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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11houston-estate-planning-attorney
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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11letters testamentary, letters of administration
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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11filing inventory TX 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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11probate independent administration
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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