James Brian Thomas’s Answers

James Brian Thomas

Dallas Probate Attorney.

Contributor Level 14
  1. Should i file a claim or lawsuit against estate?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Arthur Harold Geffen
    3. Thomas William Dominick
    4. James A Littlepage
    4 lawyer answers

    I realize that you, like almost every other person that comes to this forum, didn't come here simply to be told "go get an attorney," but that's precisely what you need to do. The reality is that your situation is not going to be resolved by a quick fix, and self-help rarely ever really helps. Understand that some of the facts are not on your side. Specifically, verbal promises are no substitute for a valid Will. Retaining an attorney experienced in probate, the litigation of claims...

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  2. Is there a way to change title without probate?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Lawrence Frederick Dietlein Jr.
    3. Joseph M. Masiuk
    3 lawyer answers

    Formal probate is your best solution, and the process is likely easier than you might imagine. Given your facts, an actual administration of the estate might not even be necessary. In many circumstances like you describe, it is perfectly appropriate for the Will to be offered and admitted to probate as a "muniment of title." In such a proceeding, the Will is admitted and made effective, but no executor is appointed. The Order appointing the Will, and the Will itself, serve to transfer title...

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  3. Can atty charge for schooling to learn estate law?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Brian W. Erikson
    3. Lawrence Frederick Dietlein Jr.
    3 lawyer answers

    That's certainly an interesting invoice entry. I'm assuming that your contract with the firm probably identifies the types of charges that you might expect in the course of their representation of you. "Learning the law" probably didn't make the list, although collaboration among attorneys in a firm is pretty common (and helpful,) and you're right to be mindful of the double-billing potential. If you have a question or a complaint about the bill from your lawyer, go tell your lawyer. This...

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  4. MY NIECE'S FATHER DIED HE WAS REMARRIED AND THERE WAS NO WILL WHAT RIGHTS DOES MY NIECE HAVE AND WHAT IS SHE ENTITLED TO

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. David L. Carrier
    2 lawyer answers

    I'm assuming that the decedent died in Texas. When a person dies in Texas without a Will, we apply a set of statutes of descent and distribution, and the situation is commonly referred to as "intestacy." This is the Will written for you by the government, and it's yours until you change it by writing your own Will. Applying that Will requires at least a little education on our community property principles. Separate property is property that a person acquires before a marriage, or...

    9 lawyers agreed with this answer

  5. My father passed away and didn't leave a beneficiary for the CD account he has with my mom. What must be done?

    Answered 10 months ago.

    1. David M. Pyke
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. John Gus Zgourides
    4. Kendall Shane Cockrell
    5. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    5 lawyer answers

    Mr. Pyke is correct as usual. A form won't help you or your mother. The good news is that admitting the Will to probate and collecting the CD as the representative of your father's estate is usually quite easy in Texas. Some factors that you don't mention here, like debts or disputes regarding the validity of the Will, can complicate things. Consult with a probate attorney in the county where your father lived, and you'll likely be relieved to hear that the process is pretty straightforward.

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. I cared for my aged and infirm parents for years and now the trust will put me out of the home after two years that is if the es

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Donald Joseph Quinn II
    2 lawyer answers

    If I understand your question correctly, you are the present beneficiary under the terms of a Trust created by your parents. By that Trust's terms, your interest (the right to live in the home) is going to expire and you want to know how to keep it from expiring. One of the first things that you need to realize is that your parents' intent here still plays something of a role. It's their Trust, their terms, and is designed to represent what they wanted. Courts throughout our country...

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  7. At what point do you hire an attorney if you are having issues with a family member named executor of will you are a beneficiary

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Steven J. Fromm
    2 lawyer answers

    A good answer really depends on some additional facts. First, it's incredibly important to know where the estate is being administered. Second, many states have altered or amended their inventorying statutes over the years. Texas, for example, has caught on to this trend by recently relieving the executor from making specific asset property public in certain circumstances. This should never be confused with an executor's fiduciary obligations, as those have only been broadened if anything....

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  8. Can 1 out of five children become administrator of a unmarried parents estate with out the consent of 3 remaining children.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Arthur Harold Geffen
    3. James P. Frederick
    3 lawyer answers

    An answer to your question won't begin to address the many issues that you've raised in the limited facts that you've provided. Suffice to say that you need to speak to an attorney immediately to get a grip on this runaway scenario. You will find many experienced probate attorneys in your area (or where your father resided if different) that can help you. To answer your question, YES, one out of five children could be appointed as the dependent administrator. This assumes many things:...

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  9. Will, probate

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Steve H. Evans
    3. Steven M Zelinger
    4. Alan Dean Tysinger
    4 lawyer answers

    Mr. Zelinger makes a great point. It is also crucial that you understand what your husband's Will can and cannot dispose of. A Texan's Will can dispose of 100% of their separate property and their 50% of the community property that they share with their spouse. That is, your husband cannot give your property away through his Will. You might do well to visit an estate planner for yourself. Although your husband has no obligation to show you his Will, or even include you in it, you could...

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  10. What can I do to make sure money in my late dad's bank account is not all spent before she probates will

    Answered 3 months ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. David M. Pyke
    3. Maria Sara Lowry
    3 lawyer answers

    You should do two things. Notify the financial institutions, in writing, that your father has died. Then, take the time to visit with and hire a probate attorney. You won't solve anything by yourself, and an attorney can help you invoke probate proceedings. Be prepared for the "her" in your scenario to claim that all or part of the money is hers. Bank accounts often have payable-on-death beneficiary designations, or you may have community property issues to deal with. An experienced...

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer