James Brian Thomas’s Answers

James Brian Thomas

Dallas Probate Attorney.

Contributor Level 14
  1. What can I do to make sure money in my late dad's bank account is not all spent before she probates will

    Answered 5 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

  2. My mom died and her will was not signed or notarized. What should I do?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Kevin Matthew Koel
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. Charles Adam Shultz
    4. James P. Frederick
    4 lawyer answers

    Speak with an attorney today. Your case involves several issues, and you're just going to have to educate yourself. As my colleagues have pointed out, the Will is likely ineffective, unless it was handwritten. Fortunately, it sounds like your status as an heir is pretty firm. This is great news for you, assuming that there is not another Will. Your case may also deal with non-probate assets, since you don't mention what sort of account your mother owned at her death. Get with an attorney,...

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. What can be done when an attorney is the executor of a will and he hands it over to his wife and family members work for her?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr
    3. Paul A. Smolinski
    4. Steven Drew Baker
    4 lawyer answers

    I agree with my colleagues that fast action is appropriate. You need to visit with your own attorney immediately, and the quick and free responses here probably won't address all of the concerns that you have. Executors are held to a very high standard in Texas. Our probate courts remove them all the time for improper activities. You don't mention whether or not you are a nominated successor executor, or even a beneficiary of the Will. These facts may impact your ability to complain...

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

  4. Texas Probate - Does the Independent Executor have to make Annual report to court at 12 Months?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Jessica Anne Newill
    3. Melbourne Timothy Berlinger
    4. Howard Robert Roitman
    4 lawyer answers

    No, neither of these things is required of an independent executor. The obligations that you've just described are precisely what a dependent administrator must do. These court-supervised administrations are very different from their independent counterparts. If you are looking for information (including an accounting) from an independent executor, you will likely find yourself waiting until 15 months after the date that Letters Testamentary are granted. Beyond this time, however, you...

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

  5. Looking for a skilled attorney to act as executor for a will. Will has high chance for litigation risk.

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Jamie Corrine Clausen
    3. Eliz C A Johnson
    3 lawyer answers

    I'm sorry for your situation, but be very careful what you wish for. First, I'm not tremendously excited about the idea of beneficiaries scouting out potential executors. This is a decision that your grandfather needs to make. It is, after all, his Will. Second, advertising the high chance for litigation is probably not something you want to lead with. Be honest with the person that is ultimately nominated by the Will, but let's at least hope that the estate can be managed without...

    Selected as best answer

  6. Can you change guardianship of children in TX under a Codicil? If so, what is required and can I use an on-line form for TX?

    Answered 9 months ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Kendall Shane Cockrell
    3. Maria Sara Lowry
    4. Ellen Daniel Williamson
    4 lawyer answers

    Yes, you may nominate a guardian for your children in your Last Will and Testament, and you could change this preference in a Codicil to that Will. You should be mindful of the fact that you are not naming a guardian when you do this. A Court will do that, if necessary. All that you're doing is making your preference known, which carries significant weight with the Court. Please don't do this online. You're talking about taking measures to protect your children and their future property....

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  7. How do i take custody of land when someone refuses to let go

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. William R. Hayes
    3. Stett Matthew Jacoby
    3 lawyer answers

    Your question spawns many more, and it sounds like you're going to need much more than what a response on this forum can give you. Judging by your inquiry, you've either used an attorney previously or it's way past the time to get one involved. Whichever the case, I would not suggest that you try to resolve this issue without some actual professional guidance. The fact that a probate application of some sort was denied, and that an heirship judgment with no administration was obtained...

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  8. What are the steps necessary in handling my mother's estate?

    Answered 8 months ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Paula Brown Sinclair
    3. Maria Sara Lowry
    4. Kami Gale D'Olive
    4 lawyer answers

    Your first and most important step is to hire a probate lawyer. This is not a situation that you can address by yourself. To begin with, dying without a Will typically results in the surviving family having to use procedures that most probate attorneys try to avoid -- heirship determinations and dependent administrations. An experienced probate attorney can explain these processes to you and help you choose the one that will get you to the result as efficiently as possible.

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  9. Does signing and returning a "Waiver of Citation and Consent to Independent Administration" void the entitlements of heirs?

    Answered 9 months ago.

    1. Maria Sara Lowry
    2. James Brian Thomas
    3. Kendall Shane Cockrell
    3 lawyer answers

    The document that you've likely been asked to sign is commonly used, but you may wish to be cautious relying on the advice or guidance of the attorney representing your stepmother or the attorney ad litem appointed to represent unknown heirs. Neither of these attorneys represents you, and you have the right to seek your own legal counsel on the issue. Independent administrations in Texas, which is what is being sought here, are often the most efficient means of administering a decedent's...

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  10. How do I view a listed inventory in a probate case? I'm from texas.

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. James Brian Thomas
    2. Rudolph Michael Culp
    3. Timothy Edward Kalamaros
    4. Donald Joseph Quinn II
    4 lawyer answers

    Contact the county clerk and ask if it can ordered over the phone, but be prepared for a no. Most likely, you can send in a written request with the appropriate fee (usually $1 per page), or you can walk on up to the clerk's desk and order a copy in person. The Court does not work for you, and you should not expect the Court to take any steps to make sure that you are aware of documents that have been filed. In fact, because the documents are public, the Court presumes that you have had an...

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer