Probate After a Muniment of Title

Muniment of title is an alternative to the probate process in Texas. It is cost-efficient.  It is fast–relatively speaking. A Will is required. Instead of appointing you as the executor, the probate court enters an order distributing property according to the Will. And walla! But what if the story does not end there? What if…Continue readingProbate After a Muniment of Title

Drafting Agreements in Probate Cases

The beneficiaries and heirs of a probate estate are not stuck with the distributions set out in the decedent’s will or by Texas intestacy laws. The beneficiaries and heirs can agree among themselves to some other distribution scheme. This usually involves negotiating and recording the agreement in a family settlement agreement. A carefully drafted settlement…Continue readingDrafting Agreements in Probate Cases

Guardianship Claim Bars Probate Claim?

Guardianship Claim Bars Probate Claim? Imagine that you are owed money by someone who becomes incapacitated and they have a guardian appointed. Your debt is not secured by any property, such as real estate. The guardian sends you a notice to submit your claim for payment. The debtor is of an advanced age or not…Continue readingGuardianship Claim Bars Probate Claim?

Broken Promise to Leave Property to Heir

What happens if someone makes a promise to leave property to another person in their will, but then they update their estate plan and fail to provide the property as promised? Can the person who expected to receive the property recover from the property from the probate estate? If so, what if the promise was…Continue readingBroken Promise to Leave Property to Heir

Adult Child’s Rights to Parent’s House

Living arrangements can pose a number of problems when an older family member is placed in a home or they die. The family members have to decide what to do with the property. These issues often result in probate litigation after the parent dies. But what about when the parent is alive, but incapacitated? If…Continue readingAdult Child’s Rights to Parent’s House

What County do you File a Probate Application in Texas?

What county do you file a probate application in for a Texas probate? The general rule is you file the application in the county in which the decedent resided. But this may not always be the case. The In re Estate of Griffith, No. 05-19-01144-CV (Tex. App.–Dallas [5th Dist.]), provides an example. Facts & Procedural…Continue readingWhat County do you File a Probate Application in Texas?

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).Continue readingCan a Dead Person Sue You?

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…Continue readingRecovering Attorney Fees in a Probate Case

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…Continue readingTime for Probating an Intestate Estate in Texas

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).Continue readingWho is an Interested Party in a Texas Probate?