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Jeffrey Albert Yates

Jeffrey Yates’s Answers

64 total


  • I want to know if it possible to get my earnest money back?

    The seller's agent refused to work with my lender on a USDA loan I was applying for. They had a contract that did not go through a month before I came along. The lender was not truthful about how long my USDA loan would take to process and was get...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    The answer depends on your contract; however, it is doubtful that you can force the seller to return your earnest money at this point. If you are still within your option period, then you should be able to terminate the contract and receive your earnest money back, but not the consideration paid for the option period (usually a nominal sum of $50 or $100). However, I doubt you are within the option period if you are already past your closing date. Also, if you have a financing addendum, you could terminate the contract if you meet the specific terms of that addendum. Again, however, the termination deadline under a financing addendum is usually prior to the closing date, and since you are past closing, you probably cannot terminate under the addendum. What should have happened is once you were having trouble getting financing, and assuming you had a financing addendum and were within the time frame to terminate, you should have approached the seller and asked for an extension at that time. If they refused, then you had the right to terminate. It sounds like a lot of people/companies may have contributed to the problem, but I expect that you will have a challenge to get your earnest money back at this point.

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  • How do I get the name on the deed of a house changed after the owner's death?

    My Mother died in 2007. In her will, she left her possessions to be distributed between her 5 children. My sister was her caregiver, and after the will was probated, my other siblings and I decided to create a trust with the sister as the benef...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Your question needs more information to be answered accurately. You indicated that that you and your siblings created a trust. Was it your intention that all of your mother's assets be transferred into the trust for the benefit of your sister (the caregiver)? If so, was there some sort of family settlement agreement that reflects this agreement? If that is the case, then you should be able to transfer the property from the estate into the trust pursuant to the terms of the family settlement agreement. How that is done will depend on the specific terms of your agreement. It may be able to be transferred by you as the executor, or may require the other siblings to sign deeds as well. I would caution against a quit claim deeds as title companies dislike them. A simple special warranty deed would be preferable. Unfortunately, you often won't discover the issue with a quit claim deed until you decide to sell the property, which may be years later. A quit claim deed is a perfectly legal and valid transfer of their interest (if they have any), but title companies can refuse to issue title insurance anyway.

    Hope this helps.

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  • Order Approved Affidavit of Small Estate - What Documents For Transfer of Ownership of House and Property

    I recently had an order approved on a Affidavit of Small Estate. What documents do I need to transfer the house and land in my name?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    All you need to do is obtain a certified copy of the small estates affidavit along with the order approving same, and record it in the deed records where the property is located. You may also want to take a certified copy of the documents to the appraisal district in the county where the property is located so they can update their records. They will eventually receive notice that title has been transferred after you file it with the deed records, but by taking it to them it helps expedite the process so that you will not miss any notices that they may send.

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  • Does a landlord have the right to access his or her property at any time, or would certain cases be trespass?

    A homeowner in an eviction suit has been harassing and defaming the tenant. During the time leading up to the suit, the homeowner came on to the property many times, to take pictures, to spy, to do whatever. She knew that she was not welcome, sinc...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    The question depends primarily on the terms of your lease agreement. The lease often sets forth the basis for a landlord to enter on the property. Normally access (in a lease) is provided for checking on the condition of the property, making repairs, showing the property to potential future tenants or purchasers. This usually does not require your consent. Often times a lease will provide for a certain amount of notice prior to entry under certain circumstances. Again, review your lease provisions or consult an attorney.

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  • My uncle died leaving estate equaly between two brothers and my mother. My mother died before he did. I'm not lisyed as heir.

    Do I have any right to her part of the will.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Poulson. Hopefully the will was drafted by an attorney. If so, it should clearly state who is entitled to receive the share of the estate left to a beneficiary who predeceases the testator (the person who made the will). Some wills state that it goes to the surviving named beneficiaries, others may state that it goes to that persons decedents. Even though you were not listed as a beneficiary, you would still be your mother's decedent and possibly entitled to inherit a portion of the estate. However, if he specifically excluded you from receiving anything from his estate (i.e. "I specifically direct that in no event, (your name), should receive anything under this Will or from my estate."), then that would likely prevent you from inheriting anything. Quick consultation and review of the will with an attorney should answer all your questions.

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  • A Will was done in 2004 the person moved in with someone 2005 died 2012 anything bought after that would be consider theirs

    The Will was done in La. in 2004 the person moved to Texas in 2005 and has been with the person since then would they be considered common law husband and wife and if so if the Will stated another family member is the other person that lived with ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I am having some difficulty following who is who in your scenario, but here are a couple of thoughts. First, you are assuming that they are common law husband in wife. In order to have an informal marriage (common law) in Texas, there are 3 requirements: 1. that they lived together, 2. that they intended to be married, and 3. that they held themselves out to be husband and wife to others. This could happen if they lived together for a week, but it could also not be considered a marriage even if they lived together for 30 years. People often incorrectly assume that you just have to live with someone for a certain amount of time, then they become common law husband and wife. However, as I have pointed out, there is more to it than just that.

    That said, assuming they are married (and there are no premarital or postnuptial agreements), then property acquired after their marriage (when may not be the same time they began living with each other), will be considered community property, with some exceptions. Gifts or inheritances received by one spouse are separate property.

    The Will's validity is not affected even though it was done before this presumed marriage. However, the person can only dispose of their interest in the property. Assuming a valid marriage, the person could only give away their portion of the community estate, and all of the separate estate. That said, there are certain rights that a surviving spouse can have to some of the property, regardless of the will or even if it was separate or community property. A homestead is one example. Also, you need to determine whether the will meets the legal requirements to be admitted to probate in Texas. Many states have similar requirements for a valid will, but not all. Louisiana is quite different than most states since its laws are based more on Napoleonic code than any other state.

    In short, you really need to sit down with a local attorney. They will know what additional information is needed, and should be able to properly advise you.

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  • Hiya, How do you handle a 10yr old Will that was not probated?

    The signed copy of the Will was destroyed by a sibling now deceased. My remaining siblings and I have 2 unsigned copies.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Your only real option is to offer the will to probate as a muniment of title. That does not open up an administration. However, as noted, you have 2 problems: 1. no original will, and 2. it is beyond 4 years. As noted above, to be able to have a will admitted to probate, the original of which cannot be located, you need to be able to sufficiently prove its contents (which is easily done with the copies), and overcome the presumption of revocation. I am not as concerned as some others about overcoming the presumption of revocation. If the original will was not destroyed until after he (the testator) passed away, then I believe that would be sufficient. If it was destroyed before the testator passed away, the court would need some additional information.

    The second problem is the passage of more than 4 years after his death. In order to admit a will to probate after 4 years, you need to show that you were not in fault for failing to offer the will for probate within the 4 years. Different courts interpret and apply the "not at fault" standard very differently. Some are strict and some do not worry about it as much, especially if the will leaves the estate to the same people he would inherit in the absence of a will. An experienced attorney in the county where the will needs to be probated should be able to advise whether or not the particular judge would likely admit the will to probate in your situation.

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  • Does a Will have to be Probated BEFORE a person can give what they will inherit to someone else?

    A deceased's Willed his wife, of less than 2 yrs and they had no children, his business. The wife has verbally said she does not want the business and said the business should go the deceased only child. Does the Will have to be probated BEFORE ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Another suggestion is to enter into a family settlement agreement that recites the complete agreement. Texas law favors family settlement agreements. The agreement can state whether or not the Will will be probated and who inherits what property. Typically a disclaimer would affect all of the property, not just the business. I believe the family settlement agreement is the best approach. If she changes her mind (either before, during or after any probate proceeding), the agreement can still be enforced against her.

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  • Are heirs to a property liable for unpaid taxes on said property

    My mother in law died about 11 years ago. The house was in disrepair and the city of San Antonio , Texas tore it down. Now the are suing for taxes. Are we responsible and can they put a tax lien, more over, ruin my wife's or my credit?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    This can be a very tricky issue. Part of the issue depends on whether the heirs inherited the property before or after the past due taxes were incurred. If the taxes were incurred prior to her passing, then the suit should only be against the heirs IN REM. That simply means that they are simply suing for the heirs interest in the property and that they are not seeking any personal liability against the heirs. If the some or all of property taxes were incurred after she passed away, then the suit can be both IN REM and IN PERSONAM. That means it would be a judgment against the heirs' interest in the property and against them personally.

    That said, I have had a fair amount of success in contacting the firms that are representing the taxing authorities and had them agree to only seek a judgment IN REM, even though they could have also had a personal judgment against the heirs. That would be my suggestion. Also, if they are sued IN REM, it will say the term "IN REM" after their names in the petition that was filed.

    Hope this is helpful.

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  • A daughter who is taking care of her mother....but not following doctors orders when giving medicine. Legal?

    She adds over the counter medicine without consulting the doctor and stops pertinent medicine for her diabetes and blood pressure without consulting doctor....is this legal?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    If the person is in Texas, you should be able to contact Adult Protective Services and they will investigate. As mentioned above, depending on the degree of incapacity of the mother, a guardianship may be in order.

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