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…Continue…

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)…Continue…

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…Continue…

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: The original documents, including wills and trusts, birth certificate and Social Security card (for the decedent and children), marriage licenses and divorce decrees,…Continue…

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. Facts and…Continue…